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Looking for a garden speaker and award-winning garden writer? One who tells a great story – in print, in person, or online – supported by eye candy, emotion, and information, in just the right balance? You’ve found her.
With her fun delivery and inspiring images from travels in Canada, the US, UK, and Europe, Helen Battersby is a popular speaker – in person and online – in settings from the Canada Blooms garden show; the Toronto Botanical Garden; Toronto and area garden clubs, business and social groups; to appreciative Zoom audiences across Canada.
Explore more here, then Helen would love to hear from you.
Designing with Edible Plants: A fresh look at a growing trend
Gardening for Pollinators: Bees, butterflies, and beyond
Irish Gardens: Prehistoric, historic, and modern
The Garden of Regrets: The plants you'll wish you'd never planted
Designing with See-Through Plants: What they are and how to use them
Garden Walk Buffalo: About America's biggest, free garden tour
Gardening in Shade: Plants and plans for the darker side
You might have heard Helen interviewed on CBC Radio about foiling squirrels, gardening for butterflies, or growing tomatoes in part shade. On podcasts, she’s discussed Canadian vs U.S. garden zones with Steven Biggs, dry-shade gardening with Joanne Shaw, and Ontario’s pesticide ban with New York podcaster Thomas Christopher. She has led Twitter chats about gardening on sand and on Canada's earthworm problem (did you know we had one?). And she's been quoted on garden subjects in publications such as the Toronto Star, Globe & Mail, GardenMaking, Canadian House & Home, and GardenDesign.com.
In 2017, Helen became co-publisher of The Toronto & Golden Horseshoe Gardener’s Journal; 2022 marked its 30th Edition. In 2021, she was elected National Director (Canada & International) for GardenComm, the industry association for garden communicators.
To her passion for all things gardeny, she brings the storytelling panache of a long freelance writing and creative consulting career in the graphic design field, where she harnessed the power of words and pictures.
A graduate in landscape design at the soon-to-be-renamed Ryerson University, where her thesis team shared the Shawn Gallaugher Design Excellence Award, Helen also holds a certificate in horticulture from University of Guelph. Adding to a fine arts B.A. in theatre performance from Toronto’s York University, she has studied marketing and journalism at Ryerson, and poetry at the University of Toronto and the Humber School for Writers.
And in other news
Helen has served as a volunteer for over 17 years with the Toronto Master Gardeners. Her special interest is creating and delivering garden presentations that are accurate, informative and visually engaging.
Hooked on power walking since 2003, she has also put four full marathons, 45+ half marathons, and many 5-16K races under her feet. She’d be much faster if she didn’t keep stopping to take pictures of gardens.
Her audiences say:
"It is my pleasure to recommend Helen Battersby as an experienced presenter. Helen has delivered many presentations with the Toronto Botanical Garden. The feedback from attendees has been extremely positive. This is a sample:
- 'I like Helen Battersby. She’s got great knowledge and a charming presentation.'
- 'Extensive knowledge; organized, good, and fun ideas – almost like gardening with a neighbour.'
- 'The presenter was extremely well organized with lots of photo examples.'
- 'I feel like I come away with more information than I expected; lovely presenter.'
Helen is extremely knowledgeable and organizes her presentations in a way that provides rich information along with playful garden stories. We hope to continue working with Helen in the future." – Lisa Der, Adult Education Supervisor, Toronto Botanical Garden
“Great pictures, useful information, all really well organized and presented in an informative yet entertaining manner!! I’m going to try to learn from your presenting style.” – Attendee, Gardening in Shade
“That was fabulous – as I knew it would be. An interesting, well structured, beautiful presentation absolutely bursting with excellent information.” – Booking coordinator, The Garden of Regrets
“Just wanted to say how much I enjoyed your presentation. It was wonderfully lively and informative and I learned a lot.” – Attendee, The Garden of Regrets
“Your photos are sooo beautiful.” – Attendee, Designing with See-Through Plants