January 30, 2010

Marjorie Harris launches her new book Thrifty at Teatro Verde

January 27, 2010

I have always said that being “Cheap” is the only luxury that both the rich and the poor can share. Everyone enjoys a great bargain.

One really good bargain is Marjorie Harris' new book Thrifty, living the frugal life with style.

Marjorie Harris is Canada's most well known garden writer. This time she has expanded her repertoire with not only economical gardening tips but also advice on saving money in fashion, food, home, and travel.


The book launch was held at Teatro Verde in Yorkville. The front of the store is still the old yellow brick Mount Sinai Hospital, but new condos are elegantly built up and behind it. (I was born at Mount Sinai Hospital, by the way, but in the new building on University Ave.)

Yorkville, in the '60s, used to be a Hippy hang out. My mother tells a story about how she and a girlfriend, Doreen, both young mothers, after seeing a movie near by, dared each other to walk through Yorkville before heading home to the suburbs. They considered themselves to be quite the rebels at the time.

Today, Yorkville is all Gucci, Pucci, Fiorucci - the most exclusive shopping areas in Toronto.

Marjorie Harris' book launch at Teatro Verde

Teatro Verde is no exception. It is gorgeous. It sells only the best things for both home and garden. There is no small irony in having a launch for a book about saving money in such an exclusive store, but let's be frank, who wouldn't want to spend time in such a beautiful place. And besides, window-shopping is free, and you can't be more economical than that.

As is usual, the people who come from the farthest away always arrive first, so my friend Yvonne Cunnington and I arrived with plenty of time to tour the store. I also took the opportunity to photograph Marjorie with her daughter, Jennifer Harris (left) and the President of House of Anansi Press, Sarah MacLachlan (right.)

Marjorie Harris' book launch at Teatro Verde

There was plenty to see in the store.

Marjorie Harris' book launch at Teatro Verde

This Buddha was upstairs.

Marjorie Harris' book launch at Teatro Verde

Someone who also came from far away was Paul Jenkins, Wildflower Farm, Coldwater Ontario. Here he is with Yvonne. Her wildflower meadow was created by Wildflower Farms.

Yvonne and Paul at Marjorie Harris' book launch

I don't think I have ever seen a more beautiful florist fridge.

Marjorie Harris' book launch at Teatro Verde

The collection of different flowers was just stunning.

Marjorie Harris' book launch at Teatro Verde

It didn't take long before Marjorie's fans started to fill the place.

Marjorie Harris' book launch at Teatro Verde

Janie Yoon, editor of the book (below right), and Marjorie made speeches and thanked people. Both women were very gracious and sincere.

My impression was that Janie was very grateful to work with someone so experienced and knowledgeable and Marjorie enjoyed working with someone so enthusiastic and organized.

The book's creation was a suggestion of Margaret Atwood. She also suggested that Marjorie Harris write it. Many people contributed tips about how to live well in tougher economic times. Everyone is acknowledged in the back of the book.

Marjorie Harris' book launch at Teatro Verde

Lorraine Johnson, garden writer (below left), and Cate Cochran were there. Lorraine told me that she had just purchased a new home in my old neighbourhood, Dovercourt village.

Lorraine Johnson and Cate Cochran at Marjorie Harris' book launch

It was nice to see Paul Zammit, Director of Horticulture at the Toronto Botanical Garden, and it was nice to finally meet his partner Uli Havermann. Paul seems to be working double duties until the new Executive Director's position is filled.

Paul Zammit and Uli Havermann at Marjorie Harris' book launch

Stylish garden photographer Janet Davis (below right) attended with her husband, Douglas.

Douglas and Janet Davis at Marjorie Harris' book launch

Yvonne finally had the chance to meet Robert Fulford who she had communicated with in the past.

Robert Fulford at Marjorie Harris' book launch

Then, from around the corner and behind the bar I spied Gayla Trail and Brenda McCrank.

Gayla Trail and Brenda McCrank at Marjorie Harris' book launch

Gayla (below right) will be having her own book launch in February. Both Gayla and Brenda have urban garden plots, a topic that will be very popular this spring.

Gayla Trail and Brenda McCrank at Marjorie Harris' book launch

Uli and Paul are here with Barry Parker (centre) and Dugald Cameron (right.) Barry grows the most unusual and rare plants. Dugald sells some of the most exciting and fashionable plant material.

Uli, Paul, Barry, and Dugald at Marjorie Harris' book launch

Marjorie's book, “Thrifty, living the frugal life with style”, can be purchased in several ways.

   1) You can purchase an autographed copy directly from Marjorie.

   2) In Canada you can purchase it from Amazon.ca.

   3) In the United States you can purchase it from Amazon.com.

Thrifty, living the frugal life with style

If you are hosting a garden related event in the GTA and would like it covered in gardentoronto.ca or would like to place an e-poster about it on our Events Calendar, just contact me. I am always delighted to promote anything gardening in Toronto.


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