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What We Do; Wildlife Gardening

At Habitat Blooms we consider the surrounding ecosystem in all parts of the gardening process to ensure wildlife can thrive every step of the way.

  • Planting using native and pollinator friendly plants

  • No toxic chemicals including pesticides, herbicides, & insecticides - we will show you more natural, environmentally friendly solutions

  • No loud machinery such as large diggers or leaf blowers that have been shown to disrupt nearby nesting wildlife

  • Incorporating specialized wildlife friendly features into each garden design such as bird baths, bird houses, bee houses, bat boxes, log and rock piles, hibernaculums, natural ponds, dry river beds, and many more!

  • Using xeriscaping techniques utilize rainwater runoff within the garden, creating self-sustainable gardens that require minimum additional watering

  • Incorporating the traditional practice of hugelkultur into vegetable, fruit, and herb gardens to build fertility, hold moisture, and let nature do the work for you!

 At the end of the process we can register your garden as a certified wildlife habitat with the Canadian Wildlife Federation, so everyone recognizes the amazing efforts you have taken to meet the habitat needs of wildlife in your area.

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Why Native Plants?

  • Hardy of our growing conditions including our cold snowy winters and hot dry summers

  • Require less additional watering and fertilizer than many cultivated plants allowing you to spend less time working in your garden and more time enjoying it

  • Support a much greater diversity of wildlife than exotic cultivars, providing food and shelter for these animals year-round

  • Have evolved specialized defenses against local native 'pests' so are often more resilient to disease & parasites

  • Act as host plants to highly specialized species such as the Monarch Butterfly that cannot survive on other plants

What It Looks Like

There is a common misconception that a wildlife garden means a messy 'wild' looking garden - but this is simply not true! Wildlife gardens can come in many sizes, shapes and forms. Here are some ideas of what YOUR garden could look like. Check out our Gallery for photos of some of our existing gardens. ​

  • Modern formal looking city garden utilizing native plants such as conifer trees, grasses and low-maintenance cheerful summer flowers with a raised stone water feature

  • Apartment balcony filled with pollinator friendly perennial arrangements, planted waterfeatures, and even a flowery beehouse

  • Front lawn converted into a Piet Oudolf style wildflower meadow filled with gracefully arching grass plumes and colourful wildflowers dancing across the garden all year long.

  • Raised 'Hugelkultur' fruit, vegetable, and herb gardens that naturally return nutrients back to the soil over time, allowing you to grow all your favourites with half the work

  • Woodland oasis of native forest wildflowers in a shady garden - no more 'only hostas grow' zones

  • Dry riverbed and zeriscaping rain garden filled with water-loving native wetland plants that filter and absorb rain from your downspout providing you with a lush garden of colour all summer long

  • Edible Food Forest of native fruiting trees, berry-producing vines and shrubs, and edible wildflowers to feed your family and soul

  • Natural pond with native aquatic floating plants and stone waterfall, surrounded by colourful wetland wildflowers and reeds, complete with fish and frogs in a damp low area of the property where rainwater naturally gathers

  • Scree rock garden dotted with low growing native grasses, creeping wildflowers, lichen, and even Ontario's only native cactus to create a unique look that doesn't block your view of the surrounding area

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You might prefer some wildlife over others (don't worry we've all got our favourites). Perhaps you're looking to attract butterflies but aren't so keen on mice, or you love the birds but not the bugs. Thats ok! While wildlife tends to come together, there are things we can do to tailor your garden design towards attracting one group of creatures over others (or atleast keeping the less prefered creatures away from your house!). Let us know what creatures you're hopping to attract (and any you're not so keen on) and we'll design a garden with your needs in mind!

Who We Are

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Chris Kingdon 

After working at Reptilia Zoo for 4 years and Toronto Wildlife Centre for another 3, I had seen the struggles wildlife face within the GTA first hand. I had also had the privilege through my degree with the University of Guelph in Wildlife Biology & Conservation, Honours as well as other opportunities to travel to the high arctic, deserts of the southwest, rainforests of Ecuador, and across the UK. The common thread I found across all of these experiences was habitat; it's importance to biodiversity, and it's destruction & fragmentation due to human sprawl. And so I began to dream of an interconnected network of wildlife gardens across southern Ontario to provide safe passage and sanctuary for all the wonderful creatures that call this land their home. These gardens blend the concept of habitat with the traditional garden design ideas I grew up with in England to create beautiful spaces for humans & wildlife to co-exist and bloom together. 

Barbara Leiterman

One of my strongest childhood memories is of kneeling in bare dirt heated by the sun, eating all the snow peas I could find in my father’s vegetable patch. I learned a love of gardening from my father, and now I carry him with me, as well as the forests and fields that formed me. These influences led me to study restorative gardening with native plants. Lorraine Johnson, Douglas Tallamy and Larry Weaner are primary influences. I am excited to widen my knowledge of landscape architecture and the connections between nature and formal garden design at Habitat Blooms.

Ona Kingdon 

is an internationally award-winning watercolour artist and an avid garden designer. When not painting in watercolour, she paints pictures across the landscape by combining her knowledge of plants in unique and creative ways to design the perfect garden oasis for you!