aren is a garden designer, artist, writer, & floral designer, with a background and education in the Fine Arts and horticulture.
One of the reasons I started this blog 15 years ago was to share my creative endeavours, including painting, writing, and photography.
A blog is a great place to record the various activities one pursues. For me, that’s been in and around my home and garden. It began as a visual diary to look back upon from year to year, and to see how everything was progressing.
As an introvert, it’s a lovely way to meet like-minded people from around the world! As a visual thinker, (writing and painting), this is the best way for me to organize & share my thoughts. Blogging works well for me.
As a gardener, I let nature take the lead. I’m here as her partner to tidy things up a bit, and help in any way I can by extending the seasons on both sides of the calendar!
I remember my first garden with much affection. It was two square feet under a tree in my parent’s back yard, next to the graves of my two beloved budgies and assorted pet fish. I grew beans on a pole that leaned on the tree with impatiens planted at their feet. My grandmother who lived with us said it was beautiful, and even though I’m pretty sure it wasn’t, her kindness ignited a lifelong urge in me to play in the dirt.
The reality of my garden today is not too far from that childhood plot. It might appear a bit messy, cluttered and over grown to some. Despite my (on again off again) desire for control, I find this rambling look has its charms. The pollinators that frequent the flowers seem to agree! I think they even appreciate my lack of effort in this regard.
If I still lived in Toronto, from which I hail, I’d have a very cultivated and clipped garden, at least the front yard! But, living in the country opened the door to a more relaxed way of gardening. Here, I grow vegetables among flowers, and don’t mind breaking ‘traditional’ gardening design rules.
In addition to home, garden, and food related posts, I like to share thoughts on nature, my cats, and photos of wildlife neighbours.
I’m also blogging more about food these days. Perhaps some readers will enjoy the ramblings of these garden to table posts. For me, gardening and food are inexplicably intertwined.
Like many people, their home and garden is a refuge from a busy world where we nurture our true selves and heal our spirit. That’s true for me.
I hope you’ll feel some of that spirit here in my posts. Thank you for taking the time to visit!
When designing a garden, Karen feels each space should by influenced by her client’s needs and the lay of the land. Plant choice appropriate to location and the soil structure is also key. Karen balances this with an appreciation seasonal change, mature plant form, colour, site exposure and light.
Karen has experience sourcing and maintaining plant material, and well versed in living wreaths, topiary, terrariums, and custom container gardens.
Karen’s Art – Paintings, murals, and Papier-mache sculpture
With more than 800 + paintings and Papier-mache sculptures sold over the course of her career, Karen’s work is collected world wide, while she continues to show her work in galleries across North America.
Karen’s art prints are available online at Fine Art America.
Memberships and Associations
- North American Native Plant Society
- Canadian Wildlife Federation
- Minden & District Horticultural Society
- Arts and Letters Club of Toronto (Past member)
- Haliburton Arts Council
Karen offers social media, horticultural, and art related workshops & presentations locally and regionally.
- “Easy Exotic Floral Design” Public Seminar – CNE (Exhibition Place) 2003
- “Container Gardening” – City of Toronto—Held at various public community centres. 2003
- “Using Native Plants in the Urban Garden” 2003
- “Creating a Pollinator Garden”2003
- “Succulents in the Rock Garden” 2002
- “Heirloom Plants: Saving and Reviving Lost Treasures” – 2004
- Making Seed Balls – Guerrila Gardening! 2009
- Heirloom Gardening; The Politics of Plants – 2010
- Dried flowers and herbs – Gifts from the Garden – Minden Horticulture Society 2011
- Coboconk Horticultural Society – Container Gardening – 2012
- Bobcaygeon Horticultural Society – Saving Heirloom seeds – 2012
- Haliburton – Terrarium workshop – Dovetail Interiors – 2013
- Garden Club of Toronto
The Milne House Garden Club
- The Minden Horticultural Society
- The Toronto Botanical Garden
- The Norland Hort. Society
- The Canadian National Exhibition
- Various Toronto community centres
- The Bobcaygeon Horticultural Society
- Fenelon Falls Horticultural Society
- The Art Hive
- Haliburton Highlands Chamber of Commerce
- The Agnes Jamieson Gallery
- Rails End Gallery
Wall Flower Studio has been independently owned and operated by Karen since 2004.
Questions or comments? Please use the form below to contact me. Thank you!