enjoying a garden and art tour

What could be better than spending a perfect summer day in a welcoming garden? Combining human-made art forms with the bounty of nature’s beauty.

We saw Monarch butterflies enjoying the bountiful beauty of Nia’s garden.

Hats off to the Red River North Tourism Association for inviting me and other artistic creators to come and speak to guests at the 2019 annual Garden & Art Tour. I was blessed to have my post in the incredible garden of Nia Massey located on Breezy Point Road, just east of Clandeboye, Manitoba. Situated on a seven-acre parcel of land, Nia manages a dozen different flower beds, each with own intriguing personality.

Nia gets an amazing amount of bird and wildlife visitors to her property in Breezy Point.

Nia gardens using as few herbicides and pesticides as possible. The yard has been certified by the National Wildlife Association and the Canadian Wildlife Association as a Wildlife Backyard Habitat. It is also certified as a monarch butterfly way station by Monarch Watch. The property is also a great place for bird and wildlife watching, with more than 80 species of birds coming and going throughout the year.

Nia Massey on her beautiful riverside grounds.
Can there possibly be anything more beautiful than lilies in full bloom?

I bought some colourful art cards by artist/author Amanda Onchulenko, who will be participating in the WAVE Artists’ Studio tour in September here in the Interlake. And I loved the pottery of Tanis Bannister, who uses calming colours in her works of art.

I loved the work of the two artists who were at Nia’s garden for the 2019 Garden & Art Tour.
I was happy to be at the Garden Art Tour at Nia’s garden with my books and delicious chocolate samples including the Golden Bean Award-Winning Hispaniola bar from Hummingbird Chocolate of Almonte, Ontario and cocoa nibs from Mahogany Chocolate of Belize. It sounds like a number of the people I spoke to are interested in joining me on the Chocolatour to Costa Rica in January.

It was an incredible day of friendly garden, art, and chocolate-loving people collectively enjoying the beauty that Manitoba summers have to offer. I wish I’d had the opportunity to actually do the tour and visit the other eight locations on the 2019 Garden and Art Tour. Looking forward to 2020. It will begin with a jungle tour of Costa Rica. What a great way to start the year. Jungle gardens are amazing! I hope you’ll join us. 🙂

Doreen Pendgracs

Known throughout the Web as the "Wizard of Words", I've been a freelance writer since 1993. I researched and wrote Volume I of Chocolatour that won a Readers' favourite Award in 2014. Always enjoy experiencing new destinations and flavours.

31 Responses

  1. nuevoly says:

    I’m so glad I stumbled upon this article.
    Your positive energy is contagious.
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  2. The blend of art and nature described in this article is exceptional. It adds a unique touch to the garden tour experience. I’ll definitely incorporate some of these ideas into my next outing.
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  3. Kernel says:

    Wow!! Amazing.. Birds, flowers, garden all are absolute beauty. Really like the beauty of the art and garden.

  4. Maha says:

    I love gardening, and combining art and gardening is a terrific idea!

  5. Though I love gardens from the core of my heart, I have never been in a garden tour. After reading your article, I have decided to nail it!
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  6. Susan Kotello says:

    The garden tour was made extra special this year by Doreen’s display about chocolate. Doreen shared her passion about dark chocolate with 3 generations in my family as we toured local gardens and art displays. It was an enlivening experience!

    • Thanks so much for your kind words, Susan. I love the opportunity to share my passion about the world of chocolate and cacao at every chance I get. The Garden and Art Tour in St. Andrews was a lot of fun for all, and it was great to see you and your family there. 🙂 Hope to see you again soon.

  7. Chocolate seems like the “icing on the cake” on such a lovely art and garden tour!

  8. Sue Reddel says:

    I so love visiting gardens and this looked like quite a lovely afternoon. You live in such a beautiful part of the world Doreen.
    Sue Reddel recently posted…16 Things To Do in Winnipeg CanadaMy Profile

  9. Bola says:

    I love gardening but have never experienced a garden tour. What a lovely experience.

    • Hi Bola and thanks for your comment. You should definitely seek out some garden tours in your own region and when you travel. You learn so much from master gardeners and so much about a destination from the flora and fauna that are native to it.

  10. What fun! I love gardens and gardening and touring around to see what people have planted. It’s beautiful, fun, and relaxing. Looks like you had a lovely day!

    • It really was a perfect day, RoseMary. Weatherwise, spirit-wise, and professionally for me as an author and events leader. It’s great when these community events work like a charm. 🙂

  11. That Garden & Art Tour of Nia’s garden looks to have been spectacular! I love your butterfly shot.
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  12. Laurel Sarginson says:

    The garden / art tour was wonderful and Red River North Tourism was so pleased to have Doreen participate!

    • Hi Laurel and thanks for inviting me to participate. Lorna, who participated at the Gaynor Library in Selkirk’s garden said that, “The prairie garden rekindled an old flame for me as it inspired me to get back into native grasses and flowers. I went to the prairie originals garden centre this week and bought some plants.” I love how garden tours inspire each of us in a unique way.
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  13. Janet says:

    I always admire the hardworking gardener that creates these mini paradises.

  14. Looks like you had a lovely day in the garden of Nia Massey! BTW, I want that colorful floral painting leaning on the table by Amanda Onchulenko!

  15. Linda Paul says:

    Looks like a blissful location to spend a summer day.

  16. ania says:

    what a great idea, I could visit with children and everyone would be happy, I would have “Art” to see and kids would enjoy the garden.

  17. Linda Strange says:

    Brava to Nia for all the work it must take to plan and care for this lovely property !. What a great site you and the others had for displaying your specialties. Your photos, Doreen – particularly the flowers, are wonderful. Thanks so much for sharing.

    • Thanks so much for your comment, Linda. Yes, I think that Nia puts many hours per week into those 12 flower beds and her butterfly garden. I have a number of additional photos that I had wanted to include, but ran out of time. 🙂

  18. I love garden tours and art tours. Combining the two sounds delightful.
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