The Garden at Lucas House

About the project

In December 2022 I completed a course with the University of Guelph on naturalizing and restoring landscapes. My final project was a proposal to create a naturalized garden at Lucas House, in Haliburton, Ontario. Introduction Lucas House is a Century home in the centre of Haliburton, Ontario. It is co-owned by myself and is currently…


Planting the part-shaded garden

As you’ll see from the images, I planted the matrix grasses in a grid pattern. This will make it easier to see what is grass and what is weeds. Then I planted the forbs in the gaps. You’ll see some of the grasses are starting to go into dormancy by late September. Fingers crossed they’ll…

Removing the grass (take 2)

I rented my good friend Ryan, the sod-cutting machine, again. I didn’t need it as long this time as the areas is smaller, less bumpy and I know what I am doing. I was able to remove the grass and stack it up in a couple of days.

Now on to Phase 2

Planting in the fall can work too, so I decided to go ahead with planting the rest of the garden: the part-shaded part to the north of the building. I did things a little differently: primarily, I planted more densely by creating a matrix on 12-inch centres of three types of grasses. Within this matrix,…

Still work, but good work

My mentor Benjamin Vogt linked to an article in the Wall Street Journal today. In that article was a quote by another of my mentors, Kelly Norris: Kelly Norris, U.S.-based author of the book “New Naturalism: Designing and Planting a Resilient Ecologically Vibrant Home Garden,” helps clients move into the aesthetic by first redefining what…

The Garden in September

August was a month of weeding. The crabgrass started to flower, which made it easy to get rid of it. I think I’m keeping the weeds under control – enough. Highlights as of September 1:

little bluestem, flowering

Little bluestem not so little

There’s little bluestem and there’s big bluestem. Big bluestem would be too big for the garden. So little bluestem it is. As a warm-season grass, it gets going slowly. But now it’s flowing, sending out gorgeous spikes, some up to three feet tall.

Of weeds and pests

A day of weeding in the garden yesterday. Mostly crabgrass – but it’s getting easier to spot now it’s flowering because the flowers (and I use the term loosely because it’s a grass) lay flat to the ground, rather than erect, like the little bluestem. Some weeds have fibrous roots, which spread out. Others have…

A Monarch butterfly caterpillar on a Swamp milkweed

A Monarch caterpillar

I was delighted to see this Monarch butterfly caterpillar on one of the Swamp milkweeds this morning. (Takes away some of the disappointment of the deer and rabbits nibbling off the aster buds.)

Coreopsis in the foreground

The Garden in August

The Butterflyway

I’m delighted to say the garden is joining the David Suzuki Foundation’s Butterflyway Project. Thanks to the Haliburton County Master Gardeners for facilitating this.

The plants

Picture of interpretative sign showing plants at Lucas House
The plants at Lucas House

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