Natvik Design Inc.
45 Duchess Avenue,
London, Ontario, N6C 1N3
Tel: 519-518-5263 | Naturalization
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Naturalization is a management strategy for vegetation in the built environment where areas typically manicured as lawns are converted into biologically diverse vegetation. Naturalization is not achieved by simply ended the regular mowing of grass, as this predictably leads to a proliferation of weeds and invasive species in urban areas. Naturalization is an active management process that involves first removing the exotic grasses that are used for lawns. Then, the biodiversity of the vegetation is enhanced. Meadows consisting of native grasses and wildflowers are typically installed on transportation and utility right-of-ways. Other sites, such as naturalized areas of parks can support additional plantings of trees and shrubs. Much of our built landscape can support naturalization which can dramatically increase the biodiversity that urban areas can support such as pollinators.


The backyards of private homes offer an excellent opportunity for naturalization. NDI can assist with designing a layout that works with the needs of the home owner. Meadows and ponds, along with tree and shrub plantings, can be balanced with enough lawns and pathways needed for recreation. Home owners can enjoy wildlife that will be attracted such as hummingbirds, butterflies, songbirds, toads, and a variety of other pollinators.


The right-of-ways in our cities and rural areas are typically planted with a mix of grasses and legumes historically used for pastures. These typical mix consist of plants such as red clover which have very short blooming seasons, and offer low potential for supporting biodiversity. Wildflowers and native grasses can greatly enhance the biological value and beauty of right-of-ways. A large variety of wildflowers can be planted to create a continuous supply of nectar for pollinators from early spring to late fall. The deep roots of native grasses allow them to stay green right through summer droughts, and they provide high quality seeds for winter birds.


Large areas of lawn are typically maintained on the grounds of businesses, institutions, and city parks. While some lawn is necessary for recreational purposes, much of these lawns can be naturalized into meadows and tree planting. Properly planned naturalizations can reduce maintenance costs, increase landscape beauty, and attract biodiversity such as songbirds and pollinators. Naturalization can greatly reduce or eliminate the presence of large flocks of Canada Geese which create a nuisance in large lawns. Geese avoid lawn areas interrupted with wildflower meadows where predators such as foxes can take cover.