Wildernest - The Maffey Garden High River Garden Tour 2023

To put it frankly - I was blown away! To imagine that there was a garden like this in town and I knew nothing about it was, stunning. Now that I do know it exists, I have visited it 5 times. I sure hope Lorrie and Kevin don't get tired of me.

This special place was one of the good things that came out of the Covid shutdown. It was conceived and created in a two+ year span. I look forward to Wildernest being on the tour every few years so we can all enjoy its evolution.

"During the lockdown of COVID we were home and wanted to connect with nature and each other as well as keep our minds, hearts and souls busy."

I will follow the map as I write this blog.

And thus we are welcomed to the Wildernest

The Front Garden

Upon entering the garden you are invited to first explore the Front Garden. My second visit to the garden was in the Spring when I went to get some "teaser" shots to entice people to get their tickets to the garden tour.

After the tulips and daffodils were finished they were replaced by hostas, hydrangeas, lilies and delicate alpine plants.

Right behind the Front Garden you will find the Europe Alley, narrow and enticing.

I visited most of the gardens the day before the tour to do my photo shoots so as a result I was around when part of this garden was being put in place. Oh My! Simply amazing!

Lorrie loves troughs. They are home to a collections of alpines and succulents that is extraordinary. But up until the day before the tour not all these pieces were in place. The hugely impressive ones in front had only just been delivered yet they made it look like they had been there as long as the garden had.

At over 3000 pounds for the big one alone this was no simple task.

But by the next day - who would have known?

Welcome to Wildernest

Nothing says Welcome like seeing it written on the door of the garage. It used to be a garage at least. Now it is a wintering place for all the garden succulents and other paraphernalia that is needed to maintain a space like this.

Ever wonder what to do with a bird bath that has sprung a leak? Fill it with gravel and plant some tiny alpine succulents!

Troughs, troughs and more troughs

As we continue into the garden we are asked to stay clear of Mother Nature's hardest workers.

Her bees

the outdoor livingroom-kitchen-spa

Some lucky patrons were treated to wood-fired flatbread and chicken wings. Sorry I missed that!

From your vantage point on the deck you can enjoy Dr. Jeeva's Garden as well as the pond and the fire pit.

Dr. Jeeva's Garden?

Another example of good neighbours. A theme that has appeared and reappeared in this year's tour. This garden was put in to give their good neighbour a view to enjoy as well.

The Pond

Would a wilderness garden be complete without a stream and a pond? I think not.

Who doesn't love the sound of gurgling water as it tumbles over the rocks on it's way down to the pond?

For those chilly evenings when the smell of wood smoke is what you crave...

The Fire Pit

I don't know Lorrie and Kevin but anyone who has such an eclectic collection of sculptures and garden art are my kind of people.

Art and Other Stuff

Imagine my surprise when I saw this piece that had to have been created by the same artist of one I saw at Kingsbrae Garden in St. Andrew's by the Sea, New Brunswick. A long way from home?


Some sculptures also included water, a nice addition to any garden. In fact, this garden contains several water features - so peaceful in our stressful world.

And Pots, lots of pots

All shapes and sizes. Containing everything from succulents (of course) to pansies (my favourite).

During the heat of summer, especially this one, we all appreciate a shady spot, so it stands to reason that there should be a...

Shade Garden

All the plants appreciated the shade as well.

And one more surprise - Orbs

Many. Different colours, textures and sizes. Tucked here and there throughout the entire garden.

Orange may be my favourite colour.

And to end this rather long blog. One last surprise.

For those on the tour, you may have had a peak at the blossom that was too shy to reveal itself in time for the show. It did show up a few days later and I got an invitation to view, so I just had to share with you all.

The Lotus

Another preparing to awe all who may view it.

and another, finished blooming but still lovely

Thanks to Lorrie & Kevin for welcoming us all to visit their special retreat.

Until next time don't forget to stop and smell the roses - or whatever else may be blooming when you pass by.