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 (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’s: in the city, 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, two hours outside the city. Helen’s: two variations on city shade in front and back gardens, plus a container veggie plot.
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.
Like all bloggers, we love getting comments. You can also contact us at Helen [at] or Sarah [at] torontogardens dot com.
We are proud that Toronto Gardens has won a number of awards over the years, mostly due to the support of our readers. Thanks for dropping by!