Toronto Gardens is a blog for Toronto gardeners, written since 2006 by Helen and her sister Sarah Battersby. They thought the blog’s 10th anniversary in 2016 was the perfect time for a major site overhaul – and they’ve been rewarded by two Silver Medals in the Association for Garden Communicators (GWA) 2017 Media Awards.

In the Digital Media category, they won together for Overall Blog, and Helen won for Overall Writing. All Silver winners qualify to win Gold at the GWA conference in August. We’re cultivating a Zen attitude.

arewordinglife-sherylgordon-helenbattersbySheryl Gordon has a word or two for us. In fact, she has about a thousand. Her anthology A Rewording Life brings together over 350 pages of underused and unusual words, with sentences (and sometimes more) defining them in creative ways by what Gordon describes as “over 1000 cool Canadian contributors.”

I volunteered to be one of them. (more…)

IMG_1048Even articulate people can become phobic when trying to write their own biography for a pitch, presentation or online blurb. Especially if the bio needs to venture outside the box. This simple strategy might get you started…or take your writing in a new direction. (more…)

If developing the next hot brand name were easy, you wouldn’t need a mammoth budget. Here’s a fascinating article by Dan and Chip Heath on the process – still worth a read from Fast Company magazine: (more…)


This quote made me chuckle. It reflects the problem creative minds face all the time – whether bringing a new product to market or trying to convince a client that a new name doesn’t always leap right off the page to announce itself. (more…)

Living in a bilingual household, and I’m the least bilingual of the five, I am daily exposed to two vocabs, English and French. Maybe it’s my anglophone outsider’s perspective, but certain French words make things sound much nicer than they have a right to be. (more…)

At age 28, I came down with an illness that took months to diagnose. To distract myself from the scary possibilities I immersed myself in a book, Gödel, Escher and Bach by Douglas Hofstadter. Brilliant and challenging, it kept my conscious mind occupied through the whole, frightening episode. (more…)

What could you call this but a “blog.” The word itself is so newly coined that trying to replace blog with another term – like jottings or journal – becomes an exercise in confusion. A blog by any other name would still be a web log.

It can be like that in branding, too. (more…)