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Garden Consultation

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Haliburton County Master Gardeners

Garden Consultation

Thank you for requesting a garden consult with the Haliburton County Master Gardeners (HCMG).

The garden consultations usually take 1-2 hours. It would be very helpful to us if you would consider the points and questions below and jot down your thoughts about your garden prior to our visit.

The HCMG is a not-for-profit volunteer organization that works to inspire and support horticulture in our communities. We do not charge a fee for our garden consultations and advice, but we would welcome a donation of your choosing to our group. This donation assists in covering the travel costs of the members doing the consultation and supports the advice clinics and community programs we provide throughout Haliburton County. Donations may be made in cash or by e-transfer or cheque payable to Haliburton County Master Gardeners.

We look forward to visiting your property and talking with you about your gardening interests and plans.


Before starting to plan building a new garden or renovating a current garden, take a few minutes to review the characteristics of your location. Some characteristics are common to most gardens in Haliburton County, while others will be unique to your location.

Common Characteristics:

  • Hardiness Zone 4 (cold winters)

  • Slightly acidic soil

Unique Characteristics:

  • Light - sun/shade, hours of full sunlight per day

  • Moisture/water source - dry, moist, wet; natural water sources (rain) well, lake, town water, sprinkler system?

  • Soil - clay, sand/gravel, loam, shallow, deep, rocky

  • Drainage - problem areas (e.g. wet in spring/dry in summer)

  • Winds (north, west) and winter protection – (sheltered / near building), open / exposed)

  • Existing plants - native trees, native shrubs, perennials, annuals, grass, ground covers, annuals, weeds

  • Waterfront

  • Septic drainage bed

Answers to the following questions will give our master gardeners the information they will need to start on your consult. Print and complete the assessment by hand or key in your answers and click on any boxes that apply.

Garden Consult Assessment

1. How did you hear about the Haliburton County Master Gardeners garden consult program?

2. Likes, dislikes and desired changes:

What do you like and dislike about your current garden?

What changes would you like to see?

Would any of these changes require the advice of a landscape architect or other professional? Would these changes require hardscaping (rock installations), erosion control, drainage or shoreline issues?

3. Use of the garden.

How do you and your family use the garden?

curb appeal

place to relax

source of vegetables and herbs


children’s play area

entertainment area

attraction for mammals and birds

attraction for pollinators

source of pride and pleasure

waterfront improvement

4. How would you describe your ideal garden ‘style’?

Formal – symmetrical, straight lines, defined plantings (hedges, rose gardens)

Informal – cottage style (relaxed curving lines, mixed plantings)

Contemporary / modern (clean, strong lines, colour contrasts)

Xeriscape (drought tolerant)

Asian (simple, calming, meditative, ground covers, lots of green)

Naturalized (wildflowers, native plants)

Vegetables and herbs

Functional (homestead, permaculture, edible landscape, food forest, greenhouse)  

Mix of styles best suited to my location

5. What colours and textures do you prefer?

Mix of colours

Bright and bold colours

Monochromatic or pastel colours

Mass plantings of similar colours and textures

5. What are your favourite trees, shrubs, perennials or annuals?


Who looks after your garden? _____________________________

Do you prefer/require:

Low maintenance – esthetics and “curb appeal

Some maintenance – gardening is pleasant, but I don’t have time or do have physical limitations

High maintenance – I have lots of time and like to be “hands on” in the garden

7. Describe any animal or pest problems you have had.

(Deer, mice, moles, chipmunks, squirrels, ground hogs, rabbits, etc.)

8. Tell us how else we can help or explain any other concerns that you may have regarding plans for your garden.

Pauline Plooard,
Jan 10, 2021, 11:53 AM