Helen’s the big sister; Sarah’s the little sister. For most of our children’s lives, our families have lived two doors from each other on a tree-lined street in east Toronto, Ontario (Canadian Zone 6; USDA Zone 5).
Trying to grow things under Norway maples on land that was once the sandy, sandy shore of ancient Lake Iroquois, we have an intimate knowledge of what it means to fail and succeed in dry shade.
Sarah is a graphic designer who teaches her craft at a community college. Helen is a freelance copywriter, a volunteer with the Toronto Master Gardeners, and founding member of a local powerwalking club. We also team up as garden coaches (for people who love to garden or want to learn how) with our business Gardenfix.
Our family emigrated from England to Canada when we were tots, and first settled in Montreal. We then lived (and helped our family garden) in places as far-flung as North Wales and the Northwest Territories, but spent a lot of time in small towns near Toronto. Eventually, we made our homes in the big city.
That wandering spirit shows up in multiple gardens, giving us an array of gardening experiences to write about.
Sarah: gardens in the city, on a balcony garden, a shady front garden, a sunny guerrilla garden, and a community garden plot; plus her one-room, century-old schoolhouse on an acre of land, north of Prince Edward County. She’s also a Butterfly Ranger with the Butterflyway Project. Helen: gardens in two variations on city dry shade in front and back gardens, plus a container veggie plot. Both of us: lots of houseplants!
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