TBG Lecture Series

The Toronto Botanical Garden is proud to present its winter/spring 2019 lecture series. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and lectures start at 7:30 p.m. Members FREE; members bring a friend $10; public $15; students (with ID) $12.

Date/Time Event
Monday, March 4, 2019
7:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Gardening With the Younger Generation Gardening With the Younger Generation

If you’ve ever lamented that “teenagers these days aren’t interested in gardening,” 13-year-old Emma will give you hope for the future. She loves gardening so much that she wrote a book about it with her dad, Steven. Emma grows more than 100 tomato varieties in her garden and enjoys exploring unusual crops. She and her dad will share stories about gardening together as well as advice on how to inspire young people to get their hands dirty.

After the lecture, Emma’s most recent book, Gardening with Emma, will be available for sale and signing.



About Emma Biggs

Emma Biggs is a 13-year-old gardener and garden communicator. Emma raised more than 130 tomato varieties in her Toronto garden in 2018—gardening in containers, in straw bales on a driveway, in a neighbour’s yard, in wicking beds under a walnut tree, and on the garage roof. Her garden is the source of many stories, and of produce that she sells in her neighbourhood.

In 2015, at the age of nine, Emma co-authored Grow Gardeners: Kid-Tested Gardening with Children with her father, and started helping him at garden talks and workshops. For the past couple of years, Emma has been giving her own talks at libraries, seed exchanges, garden clubs and garden shows. Emma is the co-host of The Garage Gardeners Radio Show. She hosts kids gardening videos on the From Dirt to Dishes gardening channel on YouTube.

Her latest book, Gardening with Emma, helps kids find the fun in gardening (and helps adults remember how much fun gardening is!). Check her out at emmabiggs.ca.

About Steven Biggs

Steven Biggs is a horticulturist and writer specializing in gardening, farming and food production. Steven shares his garden successes and failures in his talks and writing. Despite his misgivings about what his neighbours might think, removing his front lawn to make a garden full of edible plants turned out to be a big success and a great way to meet people. However, his parsnip wine was less of a success.

Steven is the co-author of the 2011 best-seller No Guff Vegetable Gardening as well as author of the 2012 Grow Figs Where You Think You Can’t . In 2015, he collaborated with his daughter, Emma, to write a fun, easy-to-follow guide to gardening with children called Grow Gardeners: Kid-tested Gardening with Children. Steven’s writing has won awards from the Canadian Farm Writers Federation, the American Society of Journalists and Authors, and the Garden Writer’s Association.

Together with Emma, he hosts The Garage Gardeners Radio Show, where they interview interesting gardeners from across North America who push garden boundaries. Now, with the release of Gardening with Emma, Steven is enjoying his new role as Emma’s secretary. Check him out at stevenbiggs.ca.

Thursday, April 4, 2019
7:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Southern Ontario Butterflies Southern Ontario Butterflies

Nature photographer and experienced butterfly gardener, Jay Cossey, will demonstrate how to attract and support butterflies in our gardens, and share his extensive collection of images detailing butterflies at all stages–egg, larva, chrysalis and adult. Special attention will be paid to caterpillar host plants that are essential for encouraging native species.

After the lecture, Jay’s recent book, Southern Ontario Butterflies and their Natural History, will be available for sale and signing.


About Jay Cossey

A life-long naturalist, Jay has been photographing nature since his teenage years. He is a nature photojournalist who has contributed images to numerous field guides, textbooks, periodicals and calendars, including National Geographic’s first butterfly calendar. He is the author of two regional butterfly guides: Southern Ontario Butterflies and their Natural History, and Familiar Butterflies of Indiana and their Natural History. His current project is a book that features more than 100 uncommon portraits of common insects. Jay is also a professional graphic designer and photo editor. In this capacity, he worked on a field guide to dragonflies and damselflies published by the Cleveland Museum of Natural History. Check him out at http://photographsfromnature.com


Thursday, May 2, 2019
7:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Gardenlust: A Botanical Tour of the World’s Best New Gardens Gardenlust: A Botanical Tour of the World’s Best New Gardens

World-renowned garden director and author Christopher Woods travelled the world for three years, seeking out 50 of the best contemporary gardens. He describes the most arresting features in locations like New Delhi and Dubai, mission-redefining botanic gardens in Chile and Australia, lavish private estates and gemlike city yards. Throughout, he reveals the fascinating people, plants and stories that make these gardens so lust-worthy.

After the lecture, Christopher’s most recent book, Gardenlust: A Botanical Tour of the World’s Best New Gardens, will be available for sale and signing.


About Christopher Woods

Chris Woods began training as a gardener at the Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew, and continued his learning at several other UK gardens. In 1981 he moved to the USA and was director and chief designer of Chanticleer for many years, transforming it into one of America’s most exuberant, romantic and flamboyant gardens.

He then became vice president for horticulture at the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden and, in 2006, was appointed director of the Van Dusen Botanical Garden in Vancouver. In 2008, he was appointed executive director of the Mendocino Coast Botanical Garden, and in 2012 he spent a short time as director of the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society’s Meadowbrook Farm.

He has been a member of the board the Fairmount Park Conservancy in Philadelphia, and the American Public Gardens Association. He also served on the advisory board of the Flora of North America Project, has consulted for the Gardens Conservancy and Botanic Gardens Conservation International, as well as being a member of the horticulture advisory board of Ganna Walska Lotusland in Santa Barbara, CA.

Chris wrote The Encyclopedia of Perennials in 1992 and GardenLust – A Botanical Tour of the World’s Best Gardens in 2018, and contributed to 1001 Gardens to See Before You Die in 2012 and The Gardener’s Garden in 2014.


Not a member yet?
Sign up today and receive free admission to the TBG Lecture Series in addition to discounts on courses, tickets for selected events and purchases at the Garden Shop and Garden Café.


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