I'M officially CERTIFIED! - Canadian Wildlife Federation Certified Wildlife Habitat

You'd never say it with all the snow out there now 
but under those mounds of white is my garden. 

Colorful Canary

I've been gardening this way for over 20 years - Having a natural garden filled with native plants only makes sense to me. It's cost-effective (native plants are often free and require very little maintenance), it's beautiful, and t provides habitat for our wildlife, which provides balance.

Through the Canadian Wildlife federations garden habitat certification program, I became certified in an effort to inspire others to create beautiful gardens that not only adds value to their homes the community but also creates a healthy habitat for our pollinators, birds and contributes to the conservation of Canada’s wildlife.

You can check out the Canadian Wildlife Certification Program and if you are in the USA you can do the same through the National Wildlife federation.

Several years ago our Town presented us with an award for the prettiest garden, and I’m especially proud of our little half-acre having now been certified as Wildlife-friendly Habitat by the Canadian Wildlife Federation. This means that our outdoor space is not only beautiful, it also meets the needs of our wildlife and pollinators by using earth-friendly...and people friendly...gardening methods.

Many people think that creating a beautiful garden starts with a grass lawn and a visit to a garden center for imported nursery plants. Truth be told . . . our native trees, shrubs, flowers & berries when paired with thoughtful design offers a beautiful, low-maintenance and eco-friendly landscape. Local native plants and shrubbery are not only beautiful, but provide much needed food and habitat for nature’s little friends . . . they are also more lush, hardier and easier to maintain. No need for constant tending, fertilizing, mowing and worrying about drought and frost - Because they like to grow here :)

If you have just purchased land, be sure to work with the native plants you have when designing you landscape, if you already have an intensive non-native lawn, check with your local native plant society to see what beautiful native plants are in your area, even better, just walk around you area and collect seeds from native plants - it's free and an easy way to start reducing your grass for beautiful hardy wildflowers.

A lot changes with progress and development. I remember when we first moved to our beautiful town, seeking a more rural existence. My little property was surrounded by woods teaming with wildlife. Behind me was a beautiful marsh covered in pitcher plants, wild orchids, cranberries & bake-apples, the wooded trails were lined with wild rhododendrons, bunch-berries and creeping snow-berries amongst the emerald stary mosses.

Within a few years all that changed, the marsh was filled in and the trees torn down, with that, the winds increased because of the loss of trees. Then the frogs, owls, bats and hawks diapered, and I heard neighbors start complaining about rats and mice - balance was teetering.

I noticed more insects like black flies and snails, which were never here before, yet butterflies and bees were on the decline- why? Often times because non-native nursery plants are coated in be killing pesticides and also carry disease and have insect eggs in the soil - they were now being introduced to the area.

Grass lawns replaced the beautiful lush native plants. Grass is extremely intensive requiring a lot of topsoil, fertilizer and high maintenance to keep it lush and green - it just doesn't belong, so we're forcing it to thrive - and despite all the effort - most lawns don't do well and don't look good.

Now I know when people move to rural areas like mine, they generally do it to be closer to nature and for the rural charm, unfortunately development causes destruction to our native habitat, but it does not have to be that way. By keeping a windbreak of native trees, we provide habitat for birds and beneficials, we can reduce the cold winds and our insect & rodent populations naturally - and hey, they offer friendly privacy in a way a fence never could.

We can reduce our lawns for hard-scaping and lush native plants which thrive on little because they are hardy and belong here. They require little to no maintenance, have beautiful colors and and textures while providing food, pollen and habitat to local wildlife. We have so many varieties of native trees, bushes, shrubs, flowers & berries why would we ever need to buy nursery plants that risk importing diseases?

We need our communities and properties to grow into a beautiful and healthy environment for all living things, If you would like more information on how you and your community can create beautiful gardens that increase property value, require less maintenance and create healthy spaces for everyone . . . check out the Canadian Wildlife Federation’s website.

Whether you have a tiny patio, a city lot, or a rural acreage, I encourage everyone to start creating or preserving their own little native oasis. It just makes sense on so many levels.

The summer is still a ways away yet for us, but be sure to hit that subscribe button and the notification bell so you won't miss any of my gardening videos I plan on doing a series showing you how to create you own pollinator garden and where to start. Also, if you love nature and wildlife please check out my other channel where I post short films of wildlife and nature from Newfoundland and subscribe :)

LIST OF PLANTS & WILDLIFE FOUND ON MY 1/2 ACRE PROPERTY
In no particular order and is very likely not complete.

50% of the property is native boreal forest which consists primarily of spruce and fir trees, a few birch and a few larch.  Natural ground-cover of mosses, bunchberry (Cornus canadensis), wild blueberries (Vaccinium angustifolium), many species of lichen & fungi and native plants such as ferns, Indian Pipe (Monotropa uniflora), Canada Mayflower (Maianthemum canadense), Bluebead Lily (Clintonia borealis),  Pink Lady's Slipper (Cypripedium acaule), One-Flowered Wintergreen (Moneses uniflora), Partridgeberries, Creeping Snowberries (Gaultheria hispidula) and Twinflower (Linnaea borealis) remain.  We have also taken care to leave some over-turned stumps and deadfall for habitat.

Planted in our garden space is a variety of rescued and seed-started native, heirloom and wild premaculture plants along with some integrated raised beds for organic heirloom varieties of annual edibles.

The small lawn area consists of creeping wildflowers, clovers and some grasses.
Everything is maintained organically without the use of any pesticides or synthetic fertilizers.
Local and on-site stones have been used for hard-scaping which provides habitat for many species of insects and frogs.

Some of the perennial plants on our property
Wild Roses (Some Native)
Woodland Strawberry (Fragaria vesca)
Willow
Burning Bush
Snowberry Bush (Heirloom)
Currants
Blackberries (Native)
Raspberries
Wild Strawberry (Native)
Gooseberry
Apple Trees
Cherry Trees
Serviceberry (Native)
Grape Vines (Heirloom)
Gold Flame spirea
Potentilla Shrub (Heirloom)
Mock Orange
Daylillies (Heirloom)
Lady's Mantle (Native)
Heather
Balloon Flower
Blue-eyed Grass (Native)
Iris (Native)
Golden Chain Tree
Lilac Trees (Heirloom)
Toadflax (Native)
Rhododendron
Goutweed
Geranium
Geum
Fern Leaf Bleeding Heart
Loosestrifes (Heirloom)
Several Varieties of Sedum
Columbine (Heirloom)
Chives
Plantago Major(Native)
Walking Onion
Mints
Oregano
Phlox
Dame's Rocket (Heirloom)
Dianthus
Wintercress
Pineapple Weed (Native)
Clivers (Native)
Nettle (Native)
Hemp Nettle (Native)
Shepherd's Purse (Native)
Eyebright (Native)
Grape Hyacinth
Mallow (heirloom)
Asters (Native)
Golden Rods (Native)
Pearly everlasting (Native)
Coltsfoot (Native)
Lungwort
Hawkweed (Native)
Knapweed (Native)
Dasies (Native)
Vinca

Wildlife that frequent our property
Several species of insects & bees

Birds
Ravens
Cedar Waxwing
Grey Jay
Hawks
Owls

Please check out my art & photography website to see much more of Newfoundland's beautiful native plants, scenery & wildlife.

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