At Back to Nature Retreat, we revel in the beauty of nature around us. One of our passions is to enhance nature's wild beauty with some orchestrated beauty of our own. When you visit us, you will notice that we have built gardens at every turn and opportunity on our property. Back to Nature Retreat has many unique conditions that affect the success of our gardens. Located at an altitude of 4500 ft above sea level in the foothills of the Canadian Rockies, we have very unique weather patterns – from the drying winds of the winter Chinooks, to the micro bursts of summer storms.
In 2012 we planted 115 perennials and shrubs. Many hours of research were invested to discover the perfect perennials for attracting butterflies – the challenges were finding ones that would grow at our high altitude, as well as ones the deer wouldn’t eat! One of the first things you will notice about our gardens, is the attention to detail, and the care we give them! Even McDuff, our Westie approves! My favourite flower to date is the Masterwort, with its beautiful minute intricate petals that resemble bursting fireworks – be sure to check them out while you’re here and you’ll see why!
In our front courtyard you will find our DIY rundlestone water feature. It was a labour of love! Now we have the priviledge of watching many birds come to bathe and frolick in the water. Don’t be surprised to see Sadie our cat up there lapping from her fountain of youth …
Stepping out our backdoor, and into our forest, takes you beyond a garden tour, into the nature trails filled with wildflowers. Having a very high dew point like we do, our forests are full of various mosses and fungus which makes for some interesting toadstools. It’s a magical fairy garden oasis - complete with Old Man’s Beard, a lichen that is highly sensitive to environmental disturbances, especially air pollution. Which means we have some pretty amazing air to breathe out here!
We are currently creating walking trails for you so you can enjoy the numerous wildflowers that grace our forests. So far we’ve recorded over 35 different ones and still discovering more! Enjoy the natural beauty of calypso orchids, wood lilies, Indian paint brush, hairbells, pussytoes, and wintergreen just to name a few. My favourite wildflower discovery has to be the Calypso Orchid, found in the Spring. Also known as the Fairy Slipper, the Deer's Head Orchid, or the Venus Slipper, it has an amazing single showy flower on a dainty stem. It only grows in the most undisturbed Northern and montane forests. One of Nature’s amazing masterpieces!
Many wildflowers, including our favourite orchids, are endangered species, with very specialized habitats, pollination and germination. So please remember to NEVER pick a wildflower or try to transplant one.
We are also building sitting areas throughout our retreat, giving you the opportunity to come out and relax, refresh and reconnect! We look forward to introducing you to our gardens, trails and wildflowers. Let us pack you a picnic to enjoy while you get "Back to Nature", bring your camera, your sketchbook, your journal or just let yourself reconnect.