Meet the Authors who were going to be at Canada Blooms 2020
Emma Biggs is a 13-year-old gardener and garden communicator who shares her passion for gardening with both adults and youth in talks, on radio , in print, and on video. Emma raised over 130 tomato varieties in her city garden in 2018 — gardening in containers, in straw bales on driveway, in a neighbour’s yard, in wicking beds under a walnut tree, and on the garage roof. Her gardens is the source of many of her stories — and the source of produce that she sells in her neighbourhood. In 2015, at the age of nine, she co-authored Grow Gardeners, Kid-Tested Gardening with Children with her father and started helping with talks and workshops. Emma is the co-host of The Garage Gardeners Radio Show. She co-hosts videos on the From Dirt to Dishes gardening channel on YouTube. Her latest book with Storey Publishing, Gardening with Emma, was released in 2019.
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Steven Biggs is a horticulturalist and writer specializing in gardening, farming, and food production. With a degree in horticultural science from the University of Guelph, he has worked in greenhouse and nursery production, plant propagation, biological controls, horticultural supplies, and farm marketing. His garden lectures are both practical and fun. Steven’s writing has won awards from the Canadian Farm Writers Federation, the American Society of Journalists and Authors, and GWA (The Association of Garden Communicators). Steve is a host of The Garage Gardeners Radio Show. Steven’s 2011 book No Guff Vegetable Gardening is a Canadian bestseller. His award-winning 2012 book Grow Figs Where You Think You Can’t helps cold-climate growers succeed with figs. In 2015 he collaborated with his daughter Emma, to write a fun, easy-to-follow guide to gardening and children called Grow Gardeners. Kid-tested Gardening with Children in 2015. Their latest book, Gardening With Emma, came out in 2019.
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If you’ve ever tried to Google houseplant care advice, you’ll probably be left with more questions than answers. Darryl Cheng, author of ‘The New Plant Parent’ and creator of House Plant Journal, is here to help! He has helped thousands of people understand the essentials of houseplant care to become confident plant parents. Darryl’s commitment to excellence, his passion for plants and thirst for knowledge have turned him into the king of the internet houseplant world – with over 400,000 followers on Instagram!
Ben is a fourth generation gardener. He earned his diploma in agriculture at the University of Guelph Ridgetown campus, and a Bachelor of Commerce from Dalhousie in Halifax. Ben spent several years working in the food industry before travelling across Europe, Russia, Mongolia and China on his own, then joining his dad, Mark, in the business two years ago. Ben, like many millennials, has a passion for food gardening and the environment.. He is and his wife Sam enjoy leisure time with their dog Ruby when not gardening in his 2,000 sq. ft. allotment garden in Guelph, Ontario.
Escape to Reality is Ben’s first published book and likely not his last.
Mark has been broadcasting and writing about the gardening experience since the early 80’s. He has written 23 books, including two biographies. Escape to Reality is Mark’s 24th book. He says, “This is the most exciting book that I have ever written as it reflects the experience and passion for Canada’s most popular outdoor leisure time activity of two generations, min and son Ben’s”.
In 2016 Mark was awarded the Order of Canada for “his connections with everyday Canadians through his gardening and environmental messages.” He is the Volunteer Chair of the Highway of Heroes Tree Campaign.
Escape to Reality is Mark’s second non-how-to book. Mark and Ben provide a well informed and deeply personal reflection on the state of gardening today, a look into their crystal ball and an explanation of why this is the most exciting time in the history of Canada to be a gardener.
Follow Mark at markcullen.com
MONIKA HIBBS is the founder and creative director of the blog Monika Hibbs and one of Canada’s most influential lifestyle trendsetters. Known for its gorgeous imagery and inspirational content, the award-winning blog provides a lush landscape rich with the latest trends in entertaining, home decor/interior design, beauty and fashion. Monika loves to entertain, and is always dreaming up her next event or finding new ways to make memories and build traditions for her family. She lives in Vancouver, BC.
After three decades of gardening—and almost as long writing about it—Lorraine Johnson still gets excited (and unrealistic!) every spring about the amount of space she has in her small city frontyard and backyard. So she regularly scrounges space from others: in community gardens, at family members’ houses, even city parks… Her interests are mainly in the ways that growing plants (for food, for environmental benefits) nurtures the good in ourselves and the world. She views gardening as a deep and meaningful conversation with the planet. Johnson was the president of the North American Native Plant Society and is the author of numerous books on gardening and environmental issues, including The New Ontario Naturalized Garden, The Gardener’s Manifesto, and City Farmer: Adventures in Urban Food Growing. Lorraine is much-in-demand throughout North America as a garden speaker on native plants.
A former (self-taught) restaurant chef-owner, Signe now write and create recipes for such publications as: LCBO’s Food & Drink, The Food Network, Garden Making and others. Her first book – Happy Hens & Fresh Eggs – was published in 2015; she’s working on her second. She’s received some lovely awards for her writing (that Gold National Magazine Award was pretty fancy and Happy Hens has been shortlisted by Taste Canada!), and her culinary work has garnered excellent reviews, including four star ratings from major dailies.
Signe studied Fine Art History and Humanities at the University of Toronto and York University, and graduated with honours from OCAD University (she likes to take the long way ’round the barn, ’tis true!); she earned her Wine Specialist Certificate from George Brown College. She’s not a sommelier, she just knows enough about wine to be really annoying at dinner parties!
Charlie Nardozzi is an award winning garden speaker, radio and TV host. He delights in making gardening easy, simple and approachable for all ages. He’s authored 6 books, has radio and TV shows in the Northern US, speaks at flower shows, and t garden clubs and Master Gardener groups around the country and Canada, holds webinars and leads international garden tours. He’s also a consultant for gardening companies and kids, senior, community and veteran’s garden programs.
Tara Nolan is a garden writer and editor who regularly writes about gardening for the Toronto Star, as well as for magazines, including Reader’s Digest and Canadian Living. She is one quarter of the popular website Savvy Gardening (www.savvygardening.com) and was the award-winning web editor of Canadian Gardening magazine’s website for six years. Tara also does work for the Toronto Botanical Garden and the Canadian Garden Council, and volunteers for the Royal Botanical Garden. Her first gardening book, Raised Bed Revolution, was published in May 2016.
Robert Pavlis is a well-known speaker, and educator with over 40 years of gardening experience. He is the author of, Soil Science for Gardeners, Building Natural Ponds, and Garden Myths Book 1 and Book 2, and publishes the popular gardening blogs; GardenMyths.com and GardenFundamentals.com. As the owner and head gardener of Aspen Grove Gardens, a six-acre botanical garden, he grows 3,000 varieties of plants.
Stephanie Rose is the author of Garden Made: A Year of Seasonal Projects to Beautify Your Garden and Your Life (Roost Books, 2015) and the creator of a popular blog Garden Therapy, where you will find hundreds of DIY garden-related projects you can really dig into. She hopes to get everyone into the garden to feel the joy and healing it can bring, one crafty project at a time. Stephanie’s creative take on garden making has been featured in Better Homes and Gardens, Woman’s Day, Country Woman, Romantic Homes, HGTV Gardens, This Old House, the Huffington Post, and Apartment Therapy among many more publications both in print and online.
Stephanie spends her time as a gardener, writer, and artist in Vancouver, BC, Canada, where she has turned her small urban yard into a “garden made” heaven, proving that size, truly, does not matter. She is passionate about organic gardening, natural healing, and art as part of life. Stephanie lives with her husband, son, and tiny dog, who provide her with inspiration and delight both in and out of the garden.
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