Do you LOVE all things green, winged and dressed in fur?
Do you find ENERGY and inspiration from the quiet moments spent in Nature?
Do you feel simple JOY from digging in the dirt and that pulling weeds is a genuine form of meditation in your busy life?
Do you DREAM of creating a garden sanctuary to enrich your life for the sheer beauty of it?
Then you are indeed a kindred spirit and you are most WELCOME here my friend!
My name is Michele Marguerite Parker and I invite you into my beloved garden – kick off your shoes and feel the earth beneath your feet.
The Journey begins…
My husband, Ray and I started this ‘5 acre living’ journey almost 20 years ago together, here in rural Manitoba, Canada.
We were living in a condo with a north-facing balcony in the city before we found our home in the country. We longed for a space we could call our own. He wanted to pursue his dream of building and I had a strong desire to create a garden or two…or three.
We finally found a 5 acre property surrounded by natural woodland, with a tiny 480 square foot blue house, a massive Cottonwood tree and TONS of potential…not one flower bed in sight!
We arrived mid September to find our new home surrounded by waist-high grass, an advancing bushline and countless poplar saplings growing where walkways once existed…it had been empty since the early springtime.
A pile of burned garbage was heaped on the barren ground to the east and ant hills thrived in every corner of the property. Still, we were THRILLED and so grateful for the open space and infinite possibilities all around us.
The mature Cottonwood dominated the front yard, Manitoba Maples towered over the little blue house and acres of wild Hazlenut, Burr Oak, Aspen, Highbush Cranberry, Chokecherry and Saskatoon bushes wrapped around the property like a blanket.
We had our work cut out for us, but we knew it was meant to be from the first day we arrived. Standing at the end of the driveway, we looked up and saw two bald eagles drifting overhead in a large gentle circle…we smiled, looked at each other and said “This is the place”.
We’ve come a long way…
To be clear, I am not a gardener by profession. There are no horticultural degrees gracing my walls. I have learned from experience – my mistakes as well as successes. I’ve been a voracious reader of every kind of gardening book and magazine you can imagine. Self-study went on over-drive because of my passion for gardening!
Now, I find myself irresistibly drawn toward the concept of Naturescaping. It’s an approach that seeks to nurture and create habitats which are welcoming to bees, butterflies, birds and other wildlife through organic practices and incorporating native wildflowers and plants into the overall garden design.
I will ALWAYS have my favourite cultivated plants – but over the coming months and years they will be sharing space with a growing variety of natural beauties!
What can I expect from Garden Love over the coming years?
- A weekly post early Sunday mornings, so you can enjoy an entertaining, inspiring and informative read with your coffee or tea before you ‘UNPLUG’ and head out into your garden! I know you’d rather be out getting dirty in your own backyard connecting with nature than hanging out on the internet any longer than you need to.
So – what are you going to be talking about?!
- I have A LOT of plans for our property
- new garden beds to create, (including a butterfly garden)
- old beds that need a complete over-haul
- raised beds and pathways to update the vegetable garden…maybe
- future labyrinth to build based on the Chartres Cathedral design
- I’ll be sharing all the ‘dirt’ on these projects and more…and who doesn’t LOVE a good ‘before‘ and ‘after‘ picture?!
- Lessons learned over the years – stories to share, tips and fun gardening facts
- Watch for ‘PLANT PROFILE’ posts highlighting hale and hearty favourites!
- You’ll see a couple of videos each month covering some of the above topics…(spoiler alert! I’m going to England to videotape some famous historical, not so famous and always CHARMING English gardens to share with you…I can’t wait!)
Now, let’s take a walk down the garden path together and share some growing tips, lessons learned, near misses as well as triumphs; laughter, love and tales of true enchantment from the garden…I’m honoured you are here with me!
“You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting –
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.”
― Mary Oliver
This website is dedicated in loving memory to my beautiful Mother.