The Moshenko Garden High River Garden Tour 2021

The front gave us a hint of what we might see and enjoy in the back.

Debra Moshenko and her husband transplanted themselves to High River from Canmore. Some might ask why they would do that but as a gardener, you would appreciate that although we have it hard here, Canmore would have it even harder. I don't know if that's why they made the move but it may have been a consideration.

Regardless - we are glad they moved, developed their garden and were willing to share their special place with us all.

The Mountains Meet the Foothills

You can see their appreciation for the mountain landscape as their front garden has the look of the Rockies to it.

As you arrive at the Moshenko home, you are treated to a wonderful view. So much to see, so much to enjoy and so much to look forward to.

Clematis Aplenty

The front garden must offer ideal conditions for growing clematis - they were abundant.

To see any image larger - click and enjoy.

As you move to the back you pass by a patch of milkweed waiting for the beautiful Monarch butterfly to find it.

I look forward to receiving seeds to grow this unique plant in my garden and hopefully to attract and nurture some butterflies as well.

And perhaps I will use the seed pods to shingle a bird feeder as Deborah has so creatively done.

This feeder certainly represents Deborah's motto of "Nurture nature, nature nurtures".

Found Objects

The more gardens I visit the more I have come to appreciate the importance of "found objects" to our spaces. They can be gifted, purchased or literally found but how they are used adds so much personality to these places gardeners create.

When the found object becomes part of the water feature it is an extra bonus as the birds surely enjoy the perch.

Possibly the found objects are wild and crazy pine cones or special wooden balls gifted from friends that will always remind you of that person.

It's those special touches that make a garden...

your garden...

unique to you and no one else.

Blooming Lovely

As was the case with many of the gardens on the tour, our extra hot weather played havoc with bloom times. Some perennials were finished while others were in their glory and some were waiting on cooler weather to show off.


All of the gardens in this year's tour had been hit by the flood. Some were recreated in their previous image and others were totally new builds. I was absolutely amazed at the work that went into these projects.

From any given condition some will recognize opportunities.
Like creating this reading lounge.

I can almost see Deborah writing out her blurb in this shady spot.

"I have a background education in Fine Arts and gardening became a way for me to have a subject matter to work with in creating art. I am still working towards that idea. Someday when time is more plentiful for leisure activities I will accomplish that plan.

In the interim I discovered that the garden itself is a painted canvas and the objects and plants have become the mediums to paint. I approach gardening like an artist to the canvas in thinking about composition, eye movement, colour and light. For me gardening is not static as it is constantly changing and moving plants and objects around to create new “paintings”. But mostly I love gardening in my space for the time I get to spend with myself in enjoying being with myself.

Gardening is challenging, stimulating, stressful, awe inspiring, tenacious, joy, beauty, physical and mental. And the delight I have discovered in the birds and insects and rodents has been unsurpassable helping me to work with those creatures to create an environment they too enjoy. I am so privileged to have this space in my life and especially at my home."

My motto is “Nurture nature, nature nurtures”.

These huge rocks were uprooted from their garden in Canmore to make the journey to High River. Talk about moving mountains!

The overhead view of this garden must be impressive - like a painter's palette, the colours changing, not at the artist's whim, here the seasons call the shots.

I commented on the pigs, not something you see in most gardens, and was delighted to learn they had been a fixture in her parent's garden and now had a home in hers. Tugs at the heartstrings.

The Artist Gardener at her Gate

I owe Deborah an apology... the day I visited her garden she was caught off-guard by my request for a picture of her. She wasn't dressed for it, she explained. I assured her I would get a better shot on the day of the garden tour but that day suddenly became very busy and I missed retaking her picture. So sorry Deborah, I am using what I have. I like it anyway. It was taken by her very interesting gate - another found object. You will have to ask her about it though, I've rambled on long enough.

Still a couple of gardens to go! Until the next time - stay well.

Created By
Cathy Bennington


C.J. Bennington Fine Art Photography