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Landscapes as beautiful to nature as they are to you

Naturalized gardens designed and installed

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

Fill out the form to get a free guide to creating natural gardens in Haliburton County and surrounding areas, plus updates about Grounded and The Garden at Lucas House.

Serving Haliburton County and surrounding areas

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 and 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.

What is Grounded?


University of Guelph

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

Kelly D Norris

  • New Naturalism Academy


The Garden at Lucas House in Haliburton

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

Making Gardens

Helpful books, articles and other resources

By admin | January 31, 2024

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

Plugs: Striking the Perfect Balance in Garden Planting

By admin | January 17, 2024

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

By admin | January 17, 2024

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.

Growing a Green Renaissance

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.

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

By admin | January 17, 2024

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

By admin | January 17, 2024

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.

Bringing Back Biodiversity

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

By admin | January 17, 2024

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

By admin | January 17, 2024

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

By admin | January 17, 2024

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.

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

Fill out the form to get a free guide to creating natural gardens in Haliburton County and surrounding areas, plus updates about Grounded and The Garden at Lucas House.