MeMe in the Garden: An Honour

Toronto Gardens bloggers, Sarah (left) and Helen (always right) Battersby

We are delighted that Toronto Gardens has been presented a Meme Award (or MeMe Award) by Charlotte at The Galloping Gardener, a blog we follow for its tantalizing stories and pictures of gardens around the world. To participate in the Meme Award you need to:

* Link back to the person who gave you the award.
* Reveal seven things about yourself.
* Choose seven other blogs to nominate, and post a link to them.
* Let each of your choices know that they have been tagged by posting a comment on their blog.
* And finally, let the tagger know, when your post is up.

Besides being an honour, this award is fortuitous. As co-bloggers, “Sarah and Helen” have been thinking of sorting out the who’s who confusion for some time. Here are our seven things:

Sisters, sisters: Helen’s the know-it-all big sister; Sarah’s the funny little sister, 2 1/2 years younger. For the past eleven years, our families have been lucky to live two doors from each other on a tree-lined city street in Toronto. Our children have grown up together, as have we.

Homes sweet homes: As kids, we moved around. A lot. Our family emigrated from England to Canada when we were four and two, and first settled in Montreal. We then lived in places as far-flung as North Wales and the Northwest Territories, but spent a lot of time in small towns near Toronto. So it’s natural that we put down roots here. Sarah also has a country home in a one-room, century-old schoolhouse on an acre of land two hours outside the city.

Garden plots: That wandering spirit shows up in multiple gardens, giving us an array of gardening experiences to write about. Sarah’s: a small balcony garden, a shady (rented) front garden, a sunny guerrilla garden and a community garden plot in the city; plus her large country place. Helen’s: two variations on city shade in front and back gardens, a community garden veggie plot; plus occasional incursions at the family cottage on an island in the St. Lawrence near Québec City.

Division of labour: We both blog on Toronto Gardens. Sometimes one carries the blogbaton, sometimes the other. Helen also keeps up the dialog with other garden bloggers on Blotanical; while Sarah connects with garden Tweeple on Twitter. Sometimes we talk to the same people through different networks, giving the appearance of a Gertrude Jekyll/Ms. Hyde persona. In practical terms, we function as HelenandSarah, one of those whaddayacallits – a synergy? of the best of both. But we really are quite different, bringing two perspectives to Toronto Gardens.

Secret identities: Besides being bloggers, Tweeters or Blotters, Sarah is a graphic designer who also teaches her craft at a community college; Helen is a freelance copywriter and creative consultant who also volunteers as chief whipcracker for a local powerwalking club, the Shore Things.

More likely to: Sarah is more likely to know who’s who in U.S. politics; Helen, to know the names of our 5X-great grandparents. At the library, Sarah is more likely to check out the hot how-to book; Helen, the new mystery novel. Both are fans of Jane Austen (and amongst the microminority who like Fanny Price). For fun, Sarah’s more likely to be mixing eclectic playlists for her iPod touch; Helen, to be downloading photographs from her Nikon D40.

Funny you should say so: We were both born with funnybones. Influences? Beyond the Fringe, Monty Python and The Goon Show, with a good dollop of early Sesame Street, SCTV, the Dick Van Dyke Show and I Love Lucy. As gardeners, we must also confess a shared fondness for Bill and Ben the Flowerpot Men.

Luckily we’ve always been able to crack each other up, and hold each other up. It came in handy when we shared a big bed, itchy with chicken pox or endured family sturm and drang. We’ve come a long way from there to here. And we are only getting started on our next chapter.

That’s us. Here’s you. We love so many blogs that this is a toughie. There are many faves that we have to leave off, such as group blogs Garden Rant or Gardening Gone Wild or Amanda at Kiss My Aster, now that she’s the blogiface of Horticulture Magazine. Like our nominator Charlotte, we also love Pomona Belvedere of Tulips in the Woods, aside from any other reason for having one of the best names in blogging.

But here are our seven Meme Award recipients, in no particular order — and Sarah and Helen had to wrassle each other to each get our picks on this list:

* For making us never sorry that we read her funniness, Kelly of The Sorry Gardener.
* For being the near-neighbour whose garden we would most like to have, Yvonne of The Country Gardener.
* For her ability to quote Jane Austen in a gardening context (and for many other reasons), Laura of Interleafings.
* For her great photographs and entertaining commentary, both blogging and tweeting, Ivette at The Germinatrix.
* For her ability to make us yearn for bottomless funds available for garden travel, Alice of Bay Area Tendrils.
* For being a nurturing nexus for other garden bloggers, Carol of May Dreams Gardens.
* For her philosophy of doing things to make the world more beautiful, Susan at Miss Rumphius’ Rules.


  1. I really enjoyed this post. It was very informative! And you guys make an awesome pair in the gardening world for crusing the garden centres together 😀

  2. Me also agree with the comment of Andrea. I've really have fun after reading your post. I am speechless. Two of them are looking very cute, charming & of course darling also.

  3. Dear Helen and Sarah,

    I appreciate you thinking of me, but I am currently dethatching what is left of my lawn–by hand, with a primitive tool that is one part rake, one part knife, and one part human torture device–and, it's taking so long that I may never be able to post to my blog again until sometime around the first snow, not to mention that the only part of my body that does not ache is the little toe on my left foot which I am using to type this comment.

    However, it was certainly nice to get to know you girls better through this post. No wonder I enjoy your blog so much. And thanks again for thinking of me.


  4. Hi Helen and Sarah, how delightful to learn these bits of info and see your lovely faces too! You both are so lucky to live so close and share so much. 😉

  5. Dear Sarah and Helen!

    You guys! I am working on my post right now! Thank you – I am so happy to have been MeMe'd! I'll let you know when I'm all posted and everything …

    Big Hug of Thanks!
    Ivette aka Germi

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