Wetlands, small creeks and ponds that are located on your property are extremely important parts of the ecosystem. They provide protection against flooding, help clean the water, and provide habitat for a wide range of species, including many Species at Risk.
Muskoka has a natural beauty of its own. By using appropriate plants, sensitive landscaping techniques, keeping nature foremost, the result can be both beautiful and environmentally correct. By removing lawn areas that extend to the water’s edge and replacing with native shoreline plants, there is a positive impact on the health of the lake.
Retaining or reintroducing marginal plants at the shoreline softens the transition between water and dry land is beautiful and a boon for wildlife.
Being environmentally conscious doesn’t sacrifice your view of the lake or privacy. We plant low-growing native shrubs and use the expertise of arborists to create sightlines through the trees to preserve your lake front.
Drainage is a key consideration in the beginning stages of any landscape project particularly in the shallow soil and rocky terrain of Muskoka. Proper drainage is necessary not only for natural precipitation but also for spring run-off especially after construction.
We begin your site visit observing what existing plants grow where and why. Specifically the anchor native trees, large shrubs and smaller “understorey” woody shrubs and herbaceous plants. Northway Gardens & Landscaping utilizes what you already have.
In the 1970’s, the industry believed that any type of landscape could be used for any project. Former owner, Robert Allen, pushed for an emphasis on enhancing the ecosystem you already have. Just by observing the plant communities in the natural environment we can build your unique landscape.
For example, is your site dry and rocky or shady and moist? Is the terrain steep and difficult? With the shallow soils of Muskoka any plants that have established themselves should be viewed as assets to your property. “Old fashioned” plants such as lilacs, shrub roses, hydrangea, junipers and yew all still have a place in the Muskoka landscape.
Dodecatheon clevelandii – Shooting Star, Acer pensylvanicum – Striped Maple, Gentiana andrewsii – Bottle Gentian, Viburnum cassinoides – Wild Raisin, Comptonia peregrina – Sweet Fern, Sanguinaria canadensis – Bloodroot, Hypericum kalmianum – Kalm St. John’s Wort, Viburnum lantanoides – Hobblebush, Polygonatum multiflorum – Solomon’s Seal, Cornus alternifolia – Pagoda Dogwood, Cornus canadensis – Bunchberry/Creeping Dogwood, Geum triflorum – Prairie Smoke, Rudbeckia laciniata – Cutleaf Coneflower, Ostrya virginiana – Ironwood/American Hophornbeam, Adiantum pedatum – Northern Maidenhair Fern, Actaea pachypoda – White Baneberry/Doll’s Eyes, Sarracenia purpurea – Purple Pitcher Plant, Chelone – Turtlehead, Symphyotrichum novae-angliae – New England Aster
The Robert Allen Memorial Stewardship Award was established by the Muskoka Watershed Council and the Three Mile Lake Association in memory of Robert’s dedication to education and awareness of native plants in Muskoka.
Robert G. Allen founded the company after graduating from the prestigious Niagara Parks Commission School of Horticulture in 1977. The School required a rigorous academic and intensive practical three-year apprenticeship. Moving back to his home area Robert quickly became aware of the desperate need for conscientious landscaping in Muskoka’s unique environment.