As a garden columnist in the Times Colonist, Helen Chesnut weaves stories about friends and neighbours into her descriptions of gardening procedures and favourite ornamental and edible plants. She indulges her passion for food and cooking by finding ever new ways of preparing the vegetables and fruits harvested in her garden, and passing along her tastiest results in columns.
Helen grew up in Victoria and went to university in Winnipeg. Before settling down to home and family, she taught grade 11 and 12 English in various high schools in the East Kootenays, taking a few years out to travel in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
She spent a summer as the English-speaking companion to the daughter of a French diplomat on Cap Ferat and a year tutoring the daughter of an American couple and typing for an American author in the small village on Rhodes where the Guns of Navarone was filmed. Helen taught for another year in a senior secondary school within the compound of a tribal king in Kampala.
Helen's columns are a blend of timely step-by-step directions to essential gardening tasks, descriptions of outstanding plants and their cultivation, reports on doings in her garden, recipes, reviews of new gardening books, and a diary of local garden-related events. One column each week is devoted to answering questions from readers.
Her columns are published in the Life section of the Times Colonist on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.
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