• Home Home

Homeowner's before-and-after photos highlight incredible lawn transformation: 'All yards should be like this'

"They now have tons of biodiversity that visit their yard."

"They now have tons of biodiversity that visit their yard."

Photo Credit: iStock

One Michigan homeowner's incredible native plant garden transformed her yard from a plain, sterile lawn to a wildlife paradise.

Kate Ford of Rochester Hills was recently featured in a TikTok video by Homegrown National Park (@homegrownnationalpark), which said they love her "DIY biodiversity paradise."

@homegrownnationalpark We 💚 this DIY Biodiversity Paradise. Get started planting native using our resources! Join the Homegrown National Park movement by adding your new or existing native plantings to our Biodiversity MAP. #HomegrownNationalPark #plantnative #nativeplants #plantsoftiktok #wildlifegarden #rochesterhills #rochesterhillsmi #greenscreen ♬ original sound - Homegrown National Park

The video opens with a photo of Ford standing in front of her home with a collection of signs designating it a wildlife habitat, homegrown national park, monarch waystation, and more.

"When they purchased their home in 2008, the only landscape was lawn and rocks because the previous owner didn't like plants," the presenter explains.

So, Ford got to work, first removing the entire lawn, then sowing native seeds and a few plugs, "which kept the price reasonable." Ford's choices included bee balm, false sunflower, coneflowers, goldenrod, ironweed, and asters. She also added two ponds.

Choosing native plants has several benefits. Since they're used to the climate, they don't need much pruning, spraying, or watering to grow into healthy plants, making them simple and cheap to keep in a garden. (Other alternatives with lower maintenance needs than grass include clover lawns and xeriscaping.)

Homegrown National Park's website has an extensive guide around keystone plants, broken up in two categories: flowering plants and trees and shrubs. Each one features an interactive map and allows a visitor to find recommended native plants within their "ecoregion."

Ford also chose a selection of flowers that support pollinators including bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. Attracting beneficial bugs also attracts fascinating wildlife such as birds that rely on them as a food source.

Left to grow for a few years, the plants exploded into a thriving garden full of blossoms — and wildlife, too.

"They now have tons of biodiversity that visit their yard, including around 50 bluebirds that have been fledgelings," the video's presenter reveals.

🗣️ If you were to switch from a grass lawn to a more natural option, which of these factors would be your primary motivation?

🔘 Making it look better 🌱

🔘 Saving money on water and maintenance 💰

🔘 Helping pollinators 🐝

🔘 No way I ever get rid of my lawn 🚫

🗳️ Click your choice to see results and speak your mind

Ford did have one regret.

"Biggest lesson learned was to be aware of plant size at maturity," the presenter says, showing a photo of some of Ford's plants that have grown so tall they block the view from her windows and overgrow her paths.

"But on the bright side, the tall plants did create this adorable secret garden," he adds, showing where a small seating area had been nestled into a clearing for Ford to enjoy the flowers.

Commenters loved to see a garden so clearly bursting with life.

"All yards should be like this," one user said.

If you'd like to get started adding native plants to even a small part of your yard, check out this guide.

Join our free newsletter for easy tips to save more, waste less, and help yourself while helping the planet.

Cool Divider