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Natasha Huyer

It all started because I didn't want to have to cut or water a lawn, that would dry into hard pan Red Hill clay in the summer anyways. So my husband and I decided to naturalize our yard. We started with putting some manure and rehabbing the soil with mulch and clover. We got two free beeches from the City. We planted as much native plants as possible. We created a rain garden and re-routed drainage to keep the water on our yard. We created a small path for wildlife to be able to cross in between the houses.

The results in a very short time has been nothing short of astounding. We now have a ton and a huge variety of insects. That brings a ton of a variety of birds, including rare warblers in the spring on the spruce during the hatch. We have a skunk, a possum, a groundhog, and have had a a coyote drink from our birdbath. Raccoons and squirrels and rabbits, which brings the raptors.

The aphids and caterpillars are now kept in check by ladybugs, blue mud wasps and ants instead of pesticide. Everyone loves coming by our yard and experiencing the naturalized yard - but there is a different expectation of what a yard and/or garden is. We don't trim the plants over the winter, we leave plant material on the ground, and while we try to keep it relatively tidy for the neighbours, it is a different way of thinking of a yard. It's not for everyone. But I will say, our yard is way less work than having a lawn. We just sort of let it do it's thing. And it's thing is amazing.

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