Any avid gardener will tell you that preparing and tending to a plot of land reaps benefits far beyond the resulting crop. When Alexandra Risen reflects on her own experience with the land, she speaks of “the healing ability of gardens and the natural world and the fulfillment found in restoring an existing legacy.” Alexandra’s debut memoir, Unearthed: Love, Acceptance, and Other Lessons from an Abandoned Garden, is an exploration and celebration of a garden’s power. At the same time, it provides a poignant look at complex family relationships, uncovered histories, and reconciliation.

Described by critics as “powerful”, “rich and rewarding”, Publishers Weekly writes that Risen’s memoir “paints a vivid and exquisite portrait of nature and its profound significance.”

Alexandra’s essays have appeared in the Globe and Mail and Hippocampus Magazine. She is also an urban-planning expert and a board member of the Toronto Botanical Garden. She maintains the blog, which is full of advice on urban foraging, as well as practical and creative recipes.

Alexandra’s website offers a charming interactive map of her garden, complete with tempting pictures. She lives with her husband, son, and rescued dog in Toronto.

Appearing in: 24. The Garden and the River: Meditations on Landscape