The Grounded Blog

Making Gardens

Helpful books, articles and other resources

A sample of excellent books and articles about native plant garden design.

Plugs: Striking the Perfect Balance in Garden Planting

In the world of gardening, particularly when it comes to cultivating native plant gardens, the choice between starting with seeds, plugs, or larger plants can significantly impact the garden’s development and sustainability. Among these options, plugs often emerge as the ‘Goldilocks solution’ – not too big, not too small, but just right for creating dense, thriving native plant landscapes.

Garden Growth: Understanding the Stages from Year One and Beyond

Embarking on the journey of creating a naturalized, native plant garden is a venture into the dynamic world of nature’s rhythms and cycles. Unlike traditional gardens that often demand immediate results, a native garden unfolds its beauty gradually, revealing its full splendor over time.

A Garden for All Seasons: Designing with Native Plants

A garden that evolves and adapts through the seasons not only offers an ever-changing tapestry of beauty but also provides a sustainable habitat for local wildlife.

Ditch the Mulch, Plant Densely: A Natural Approach to Gardening

In the realm of gardening, the use of mulch has long been a go-to strategy for weed suppression, moisture retention, and even aesthetic enhancement. However, an emerging trend is challenging this conventional wisdom: dense planting, often referred to as “living mulch.”

Embracing Nature’s Edge: The Importance of Naturalizing Shorelines in Haliburton County

In the landscape of Haliburton County, where lakes and water bodies form a picturesque backdrop, the naturalization of shorelines stands out as a pivotal practice for cottagers. Natural shorelines, adorned with native vegetation and undisturbed habitats, are not just visually appealing but also vital for maintaining the ecological integrity of these aquatic ecosystems.

Garden Ecotones: Where Forest and Garden Meet in Haliburton

In the world of gardening, especially in forested regions like Haliburton County, the idea of creating garden ecotones offers a unique opportunity to blend the cultivated with the wild, enriching both the environment and our experience of it.

A Different Kind of Beauty: Discovering Gardens in the Off-Season

As autumn’s vibrant palette fades and winter’s chill sets in, traditional gardeners often see this as a cue to ‘put the garden to bed.’ This usually involves tidying up, cutting back dead foliage, and preparing for a dormant season. However, native plant gardens challenge this conventional approach, revealing a different kind of beauty in the fall and winter months – one that is not only visually appealing but also ecologically significant.

Inspired by Nature, Crafted by Hands: The Essence of Native Gardens

Native plant gardens stand as testaments to the beauty and complexity of nature. These gardens offer a unique fusion of natural splendor and human artistry. Unlike their wild counterparts, native gardens are carefully crafted spaces, reflecting the delicate interplay between natural ecosystems and human intervention.

Exploring the Matrix Layer: Native Grasses and Sedges in Haliburton Gardens

The secret to vibrant and ecologically balanced gardens often lies hidden in plain sight: within the matrix layer of native grasses and sedges. These unassuming plants play a pivotal role in the structure and sustainability of native plant gardens, providing an ecological foundation that supports diverse wildlife and contributes to the overall health of the ecosystem.

Growing a Green Renaissance

Nature’s Echo: Rediscovering Human Identity through Native Gardening

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.

Rooted in Region: How Native Plant Gardens Foster a Sense of Place

Traditional gardens, with their often non-native and cosmopolitan plant selections, can sometimes blur regional distinctions, creating a homogenized landscape that lacks a true sense of locality. In contrast, native plant gardens offer a vibrant alternative, deeply rooted in the region’s natural heritage and ecological makeup.

Cultivating Love: The Garden’s Path to Global Compassion

In the tranquility of our gardens, amid the rustle of leaves and the hum of bees, a profound transformation unfolds. It’s a journey of the heart, where the simple act of nurturing plants becomes a pathway to cultivating a deeper love – not just for our gardens but for the entire world.

Sowing Seeds of Change: Garden Rebellion as a Model for Environmental Action

In the quiet corners of our backyards, a revolution is taking root. It’s called the garden rebellion — a movement where ordinary gardeners are transforming their manicured lawns into wild, native havens. But this movement is more than just about changing gardening practices; it’s a microcosm of the societal shifts needed to combat global challenges like climate change and biodiversity loss.

Are You a Garden Rebel?

A new breed of gardener is emerging. These are the ‘garden rebels’ — individuals who are breaking away from the traditional, manicured lawns and perfectly pruned flower beds to embrace a more natural, sustainable approach to gardening.

Working with Nature, Not Against It: The Joy of Native Plant Gardening

Gardening, long viewed as a laborious battle against the whims of nature, is being reimagined. The traditional image of endless weeding, watering, and pest control is giving way to a more harmonious approach: native plant gardening. This method is a dance with nature, not a fight against it.

Conforming to Green: How Lawn Culture Impacts Our Inner Well-being

In the suburbs of Ontario and even on some Haliburton County cottage properties, the lawn reigns supreme. This emerald expanse, a hallmark of residential aesthetics, has long been cherished as a symbol of beauty and order. But beneath its lush facade, lawn culture harbors a less discussed aspect: its psychological and spiritual impacts on individuals and communities.

Bringing Back Biodiversity

Connecting Nature: Building Wildlife Corridors with Urban Native Gardens

In the heart of urban landscapes, where concrete often overshadows greenery, wildlife corridors serve as critical lifelines. These green passages, created through thoughtful planting of native gardens, provide a refuge for urban wildlife, connecting isolated natural habitats.

Native Gardens: Your Personal Contribution to Fighting Biodiversity Loss

In the face of climate change and biodiversity loss, feelings of helplessness are common. Yet, there is a powerful tool within our reach to combat these global challenges: native plant gardening. This practice not only offers environmental benefits but also empowers individuals to make a tangible difference.

From Pollinators to Whole Ecosystems: Expanding Our Gardening Focus

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.

The Invasive Plant Problem: Origins, Impacts, and Solutions in Haliburton Gardens

In the picturesque landscape of Haliburton County, a silent challenge is lurking in gardens and landscapes: invasive plants. These uninvited guests, often brought in through ornamental gardening or accidental transport, pose a significant threat to the local ecosystem.

Haliburton’s Homegrown National Park: The Power of Native Gardens

A quiet revolution is underway, inspired by the visionary ideas of ecologist Douglas Tallamy. It’s a movement transforming private gardens into vibrant ecosystems that collectively form a new kind of national park — one dedicated to biodiversity. This concept, where every backyard becomes a haven for native species, is reshaping our approach to conservation and redefining our relationship with nature.

Beyond Aesthetic: The Hidden Environmental Toll of Lawn Culture

In Haliburton County and across Canada the lush, green lawn has long been a symbol of garden perfection. However, this seemingly benign landscape choice has far-reaching environmental implications.

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