Natural Garden News from Grounded – July 6

Inside this edition of Natural Garden News

  • Snow White and the billion lives
  • If you want a Grounded garden…
  • How I choose the right plants for a landscape
  • Your cottage landscaping is done. Now what?
  • A look inside my favourite book
  • Today’s recommended reading
  • Today’s VIP (Very Important Plant)
  • This week in the garden
  • From the socials

I hope you enjoy the newsletter! If you have any questions or feedback, please reply to this email.

Simon Payn


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Snow White and the billion lives

I could drone on and on about the biodiversity crisis and how we’re destroying nature at a horrible rate.

But instead I want to talk about Snow White.

There’s a scene in the movie where Snow White is surrounded by animals and birds. Maybe you remember it. She sings and they all come out to listen.

Snow White is saturated by nature – and it’s joyous.

I felt like Snow White on Canada Day. I was adding plants to the garden at Lucas House and noticed the clumps of Swamp Milkweed were alive with pollinators.

Later, when I went home, a song sparrow flew from the shrub thicket near my parked car. Fish were jumping in the lake. Butterflies were on the Dogwood I’d planted.

We live in a world of more. More money, more things, more fun. There’s nothing wrong with this, unless it comes at the expense of others, including the rest of nature.

So how about this? I want more nature. I want more birds, more insects, more animals. I want more songs, more buzzes.

I want a world dripping with glorious life. So much life it makes me want to sing.

Who’s with me?


If you want a Grounded garden…

I’m now booking garden and shoreline installs for this fall and next spring.

If you’re interested in working with me, don’t wait until then. I use the summer to prepare your site and to work on plant lists and designs.

I’m happy to come out and look at your site for no charge and with no obligation. If we’re not a fit, we’ll depart as friends. Just click the button below.

To see some of my recent work, please look at this article.

How I choose the right plants for a landscape

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. Read more.

Your cottage landscaping is done. Now what?

In case you missed it, here’s the advertorial about Grounded in the June 27 issue of The Highlander. Read more.

A look inside my favourite book

Garden Revolution is a beautiful inspiration for those of us who want to garden for the environment. Read more.

Today’s recommended reading

Bringing pollinators back: It’s not just Minden – cities (and even a whole country) are developing gardens to help pollinators. An inspiring and useful article. Read more.

Shedding some light: A super-thorough article to help you decide if your garden is shaded, part-shaded or sunny. Read more.

Naturalizing the GTA: It looks like Mississauga is on the edge of the culture shift from lawns to natural gardens. The lawn is an out-of-date concept – and some cities need their regulations to catch up. Read more.

It’s not too late: A lovely short video on why biodiversity is important. Show it to your children, then show it to your friends. Watch it.

Get the free guide

I’ve updated my guide to natural gardens in Haliburton County and surrounding areas.

Now booking garden and shoreline installs

If you’d like me to come and look at your garden or shoreline, please fill out the inquiry form.

Today’s VIP (Very Important Plant)

If you’re following Grounded on Facebook or Instagram (if not, click on the links to follow!), you’ll have seen I’ve been posting information about native plants. I’ve spent a bunch of time putting together these information “cards”, which you can also see on my website here.

Today let’s look at Nannyberry

  • Common Name: Nannyberry
  • Scientific Name: Viburnum lentago
  • Layer: Structure
  • Light Conditions: Sun, Part-sun
  • Soil Conditions: Moist-drained, Moist
  • Bloom Colour: White
  • Season of Interest: Spring
  • Suitable for: Lawn replacement, Shoreline
  • Description: Its white flowers provide a splash of brightness in spring, but the real action is in the fruit, which goes through multiple colour changes as it matures.

This week in the Garden

Here’s the Swamp Milkweed at Lucas House absolutely ALIVE with pollinators on Canada Day. Click the first image to watch the video.

The rainy start to the weekend wasn’t all bad, if you stop and look. Here are drops of rain on the plants at Lucas House. Diamonds on every leaf.

And, for no particular reason except I think they look nice, here are some Red Elderberry berries and Common Eastern Fleablane. I didn’t plant these – it’s a natural occurrence. But it shows the vignette layer (the Fleablane) and the structure layer (the Elderberry) together.

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From the socials

I love the passion of this guy. He makes a powerful case for doing what we do here at Grounded. Please watch it.

Sink into the sheer beauty of this garden, which uses a naturalistic planting technique. To be fair, I don’t think it uses 100% native plants. But, boy, it’s beautiful. Take a look.

Rufus says Hi!

Thank you for reading!