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 natural native plant 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…


The Great Haliburton Used Plant Pot Drive

Do you have empty plant pots you want to get rid of? Don’t just throw them away or put them in the recycling – they can be re-used! Find out how.

Happy first birthday to the garden at Lucas House

The garden at Lucas House celebrated its first birthday last week. Here’s an update of where it’s at. And where I’m at in relation to it.

An image showing six native plants in spring.

Wakey, wakey! Native plants in spring

With the early end to winter, it seems spring has taken a long time to get going. That feels especially true to impatient old me at ​Lucas House​, Grounded’s native plant demonstration garden in Haliburton village. But things are happening. And they’ll ramp up as we go through May. It’s a nail-biting time in the…

Leave the dead plant stems!

With this scarily warm weather we’ve been having, it’s tempting to get out there and do a bit of tidying up in the garden. Please wait!

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.

The plants

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

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