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Landscapes as beautiful to nature as they are to you

Natural gardens and shorelines designed and installed using native plants

Can we garden for nature as well as for humans? Can we make a beautiful landscape full of native plants that have co-evolved with Ontario's insects and birds? Can we see the world from the perspective of everything in it, not just through our own eyes? And can we leave our small patch of the planet a little bit better?

Why you'll feel good when you garden for life

A better future lies just outside your door.

Imagine no more mowing. No more fertilizing. Much less watering. Instead, you'll have a garden alive with butterflies and birds that changes month by month, season by season.

With the world facing a biodiversity crisis, it's hard to know what to do. The problem seems so big. One answer is to act where you can: close to home, healing the world one garden at a time.

Most importantly, you'll feel a deeper connection with your home and the land you live on. You'll be at the vanguard of humanity's rediscovered healthy relationship with the rest of nature.

Get a free guide to natural gardens and shorelines

Cover of Grounded's free booklet about natural gardens and shorelines in Haliburton County and surrounding areas.Fill out the form to get a free guide to creating natural gardens and shorelines in Haliburton County and surrounding areas, plus Grounded's popular newsletter.

"Great job on your newsletter! Well researched, fact based recommendations with excellent resources. Looking forward to more!" - Rita D.


Serving Haliburton County and surrounding areas

Including Kawartha Lakes, Muskoka and Hastings

Lawn Replacement and Native Plant Gardens

By admin | January 23, 2024

Lawns, long a symbol of garden perfection, have environmental and psychological implications. Transform your garden into a landscape that benefits you – and nature.

Shoreline Naturalization

By admin | January 23, 2024

Haliburton County’s lakes are its lifeblood, and healthy lakes require healthy shorelines. We can help bring your shoreline back to life.

Septic System Landscaping

By admin | January 23, 2024

Don’t know what to do with your septic bed? Using it for a native plant garden is a great way to combine functionality and natural beauty.

About Simon Payn

My name is Simon Payn and I help people transform their boring lawns into gardens that are beautiful for wildlife as well as for humans.

Sometimes it takes five decades of life to figure out your calling. Now I've discovered it. Fascinated by nature and gardens as a child, finally I've found a way to combine both, and to do our part to fix the biodiversity crisis the world is facing. Now my hands are in the soil ad my head is in native plants.

I've taken several courses with the University of Guelph, including one on naturalizing urban landscapes. And I've created a demonstration native plant garden in downtown Haliburton.

Gardens that please nature as well as humans are the future. Not only do they save hours of mowing and maintenance, but they create an ecosystem rich in invertebrates, birds and mammals. These types of gardens help us do our bit to fix our broken relationship with nature, and I want to bring them to the Haliburton Highlands.

Philosophical background


  • Each day is a meditation on the beauty and wonder that surround us. Most of all, it's about love. Read more here.

What is Grounded?


University of Guelph

  • Naturalizing and Restoring Landscapes
  • Plant Identification
  • Business Principles in Horticulture


  • Ecology-based Landscape Practice

Kelly D Norris

  • New Naturalism Academy

The Garden at Lucas House in Haliburton

One century building.
One fewer lawn.
One Grounded garden.

Making Natural Gardens and Shorelines

Screenshot of advertorial about Haliburton Cottage Landscaping that appeared in The Highlander on June 27 2024.

Your cottage landscaping is done. Now what?

By admin | July 5, 2024

Here is an advertorial about using native plants in Haliburton cottage landscaping published in the June 27, 2024 issue of The Highlander.

AI-generated image of how designing a natural landscape is like playing a 4D game of Tetris.

Natural landscaping: how to choose the right plants

By admin | July 5, 2024

Creating natural landscapes isn’t just about native plants. It’s more like playing a 4D game of Tetris. Here’s how I choose the right plants.

Weeding native plant gardens: a dance with nature

By admin | June 18, 2024

I was out weeding the native plant garden at Lucas House this week, before it got too hot. Just an hour later, I felt 100 times better.

Growing a Green Renaissance

The cover of Garden Revolution, by Larry Weaner and Thomas Christopher.

Gardening for the environment: ecological landscapes beautiful to us and nature

By admin | July 5, 2024

A look inside the book Garden Revolution, a beautiful inspiration for those of us who want to garden for the environment.

Native Plants Are Messy: Is That True?

By admin | May 24, 2024

Native plant gardens are messy. That’s the number one claim that people such as myself face. But are natural landscapes really an unruly tangle?

Nature’s Echo: Rediscovering Human Identity through Native Gardening

By admin | January 17, 2024

The deep, intrinsic connection with the natural world, once the bedrock of human existence, has been eroded by the pursuit of progress and convenience. This disconnection has not just scarred our planet; it has left an indelible mark on our very sense of self. Amidst this backdrop of alienation, native gardening emerges not just as a horticultural practice, but as a beacon of hope, a pathway to rediscover our true identity and reclaim our place in the natural world.

Bringing Back Biodiversity

Misty shoreline in Haliburton County

Haliburton Shoreline Naturalization: Better for the Lake, Better for You

By admin | July 15, 2024

An in-depth look at shoreline naturalization for Haliburton County cottages: why it’s important and how to do it.

It’s OK to mow in May − the best way to help pollinators is by adding native plants

By admin | May 23, 2024

If you are interested in supporting pollinators, it is important to consider the ecological context of your yard – and #NoMowMay may not be an effective strategy.

Milkweed and monarch butterly.

From Pollinators to Whole Ecosystems: Expanding Our Gardening Focus

By admin | March 29, 2024

In recent years, the surge in popularity of pollinator gardens has been a heartening development for environmental enthusiasts and gardeners alike. These gardens, teeming with bees, butterflies, and other pollinators, have become symbols of ecological awareness and conservation. Yet, as we delve deeper into the realms of sustainable gardening, a broader perspective emerges, one that considers not only pollinators but the entire ecosystem.

Get in touch

If you'd like to talk about Grounded gardens, please contact Simon Payn.

123 Maple Ave.
Box 261,
Haliburton, ON  K0M 1S0

Get a free guide to natural gardens and shorelines

Fill out the form to get a free guide to creating natural gardens in Haliburton County and surrounding areas, plus Grounded's popular newsletter.

"Great job on your newsletter! Well researched, fact based recommendations with excellent resources. Looking forward to more!" - Rita D.