I moved into my house in
Cambridge, Ontario at the end of September 1996. The thing that attracted
me to this property was the natural aspect of it. The back yard slopes
gradually down to a natural pond at the rear that is about 200 feet across. Off to the
right side of the yard at the rear is a small wooded section. The rest was a lawn, with
gardens along the edge.
I immediately started work on
enhancing the wooded area. Fully enclosed by a buckthorn hedge, very
little light got into this area. About the only thing growing there were
trilliums. I carefully transplanted in many plants that I had brought with
me. Each year I added to them, until in 2000 it was a small jungle of
The next area that I focused my
efforts on was the slope down to the pond. I think it was in 1997 that I
stopped cutting the grass right down to the water's edge, and started to plant
native plants there. Each year I gradually did a little more.
Finally, in 1999, I started the
major project of naturalizing the whole back yard. I stopped cutting the
grass part way through the summer. I collected and scattered lots of
seeds, planted many plants, shrubs and trees, and let Nature go to work.
The results, as seen so far by the summer
of 2000, were astonishing! In just one year the yard has been transformed
from a desert of lawn into a beautiful diverse explosion of colour and life!