* Photo – Our family at Grinter’s Sunflower Farm in September, 2016.

For the past 20 years,  I have grown to love gardening, wildlife, and the great outdoors.  What started as a simple desire to learn more about plants has developed into a passion for birds, butterflies, and the native plants that attract them.  As we began to add plants to our own Kansas backyard, we purposefully chose perennial plants that are native to the greater Kansas City area and/or the Midwest Ecoregion – Eastern Kansas & Nebraska, as well as Western Missouri & Iowa.  We wanted to create a beautiful outdoor space that would also serve as an attractive wildlife habitat.  A place that would provide the food, shelter, and spaces required for them to thrive and raise their young, by offering the native plants they rely on.  Over the past four years, we have added 40+ different native tree, shrub, flower, and grass species to our landscape.  As a result, we have enjoyed watching many bird species, including a pair of proud House Wren parents who nested and raised their young using the bird house we hung in our backyard.  We have experienced firsthand the magical life cycle of three different butterfly species, including over 75 munching Monarch caterpillars we found on the Milkweed we added to our landscape.  And then there is the silly toad we discovered one day under our backyard playset that has captured the heart of our four year old son.  The more time we spend out back, the less I feel we have brought nature to us, and the more I feel we have made ourselves available to it.  For our family, connecting to nature simply requires stepping out into our own backyard.  Parsons’ Gardens has grown out of this passion and hopes to help inspire others in creating similar wildlife habitats in their own outdoor spaces…  places where we welcome wildlife and connect with creation.

– Jay Parsons

* Top Photo – One of the Switchgrass plants we have growing in our backyard landscape.  This native clump forming grass grows 3-4 feet tall and adds beautiful interest and texture to the summer, fall, and winter landscape.  Switchgrass also provides habitat for several species of Skippers, including the Delaware Skipper.  (December, 2016)


* Photo – Our son Daniel, while wearing his “turtles” shirt, plays with his silly toad friend in our backyard.  (October, 2016)