With her fun delivery style and vibrant images, Helen is a popular speaker for garden clubs, horticultural societies, and groups all around the Greater Toronto Area, including at the Toronto Botanical Garden. During the pandemic, she Zoomed to appreciative audiences across Canada. 

Creating and giving presentations has also been a great love over her 16+ years as a volunteer with the Toronto Master Gardeners. In this role, whether in person or via online media like Zoom or GoogleMeet, she has presented at libraries, clubs, organizations, businesses, and on the Master Gardener stage at Canada Blooms.

Explore Helen’s Topics

Choose from garden presentations below, or ask Helen about something new. In fact, some of her most frequently asked-for talks began as posts on TorontoGardens.com. Have a look. She is open to ideas.

New in 2021: Ecology

Gardening for Pollinators – Bees, Butterflies, and Beyond

A pollinator garden is full of surprises. Surprising pollinators. Surprising plants. And surprising ways to make your garden more pollinator friendly. Meet the good guys (including those who are sometimes bad), and learn how to keep them happy in this picture-packed presentation.

“A huge thank you for such a wonderful presentation. Coming from Europe and learning to garden in Canada, your presentation has been a real gift!”

New in 2021: Garden tourism

Irish Gardens – Prehistoric, Historic, and Modern

Inspiring armchair garden travel to the glorious Emerald Isle. From a Neolithic farm site on the scenic west coast to Victorian garden estates and the contemporary creations of siblings Jimi and June Blake, enjoy an eyeful of ideas with a side order of history in this brand new presentation.

“Thanks again for your talk. I was blown away by your photos and the places you had visited!”

Audience favourite:

The Garden of Regrets

Meet the plants you’ll wish you’d never planted. Learn how to avoid them (before you do), to live with them (if, sadly, you have them), or how to love them (if you must). A highly visual presentation that is one of Helen’s most-requested talks.

“Thank you so much for a great talk! I loved all the detailed information on so many familiar plants. You are a very engaging speaker and gave us lots to think about.”

Garden design:

Designing with See-Through Plants 

Discover what the heck they are and how the heck to use them! Meet some new plants, and others that will invite you to look at old friends in a new way in this presentation filled with inspiring photographs. Whether your garden is large or small, you’re sure to come away with design ideas to apply.

“Your presentation was just lovely…lots of beautiful plants (with names on screen, a definite bonus!)”

 Garden tourism:

Garden Walk Buffalo

See what you’ll miss if you don’t catch North America’s biggest, free garden tour. Forget the tired Eye-Witness News vision of Buffalo (Fire in North Tonawanda! News at 11). Helen’s first visit to Garden Walk in 2010 opened her eyes. Let her show you a beautiful new side of our near neighbour – and very dedicated garden city.

“Thank you for braving the Snow Storm of the Century and giving such a fine talk. It was all I had hoped for. Fun, colourful and a real inspiration.” 

Planting design:

Gardening in Shade

Are you a shady gardener? Plants and plans for the darker side of gardening.To help you create a high-impact, low-maintenance shade garden, we’ll begin by helping you cope with its particular problems and understand its opportunities. We’ll cover garden design principles for your shady garden (they work in sunny gardens, too!). Come away with ideas for both plants and design approaches that work well in shade.

Or, if you’re a dry-shade gardener, ask Helen about her presentation on solutions for one of the toughest garden challenges!

“I had many members approach me afterwards telling me how much they enjoyed your presentation. You were a pleasure to listen to.”