Posted: 2020-06-30 07:53:04 By: thebay

A short while back, Hunters Bay Radio welcomed a new volunteer host into the fold. Laura Thomas from Kilworthy, Ontario now hosts a very interesting and informative show that airs monthly, entitled "IN THE DIRT". From our website: "In the Dirt aims to blend Laura's passion for gardening and conservation, showing listeners that they can have a beautiful garden that also provides habitat for local wildlife. With a focus on natural gardening methods, Laura may occasionally slide into ecology and wildlife conservation." Laura is a well-educated expert on the above subjects. A graduate of the University of Waterloo's Environment and Resource program, Laura runs a landscaping company called Hidden Habitat which focuses on developing landscapes that are ecologically sound, while promoting sustainable land management. In other words, she creates landscapes which are healthy and natural for the environment. Largely from listening to her show, Shauna and I decided to hire Laura and her husband Tyler Thomas to do some of the landscaping work on our property. Tyler, a Lieutenant in the Gravenhurst Fire Department, has for the past 10 years operated a company called Muskoka Cottage Services, and his skills compliment Laura's very well. Tyler builds everything from decks and docks to kitchens, and he too is knowledgeable about growing things.

For a long time, Shauna has wanted to add raised garden beds at our home in order to grow vegetables and flowers. As well, we never really finished landscaping our property after our log home was built. We needed a few trees planted and several trouble spots addressed. We required someone to come in and provide us with guidance as to what types of vegetation would look good, grow well, and at the same time, require little maintenance. About a month ago, Laura came to our property for a consultation, and we immediately found her to be informative and personable. Within an hour or so, we had mapped out a plan, according to Shauna's rough drawings. Laura assessed our property and decided what would grow well given our soil conditions, locale, and personal preferences. She listened carefully to our directives, and then provided us with several attractive options which would not only beautify the property, but also provide plants native to the area. Again, we were hoping for vegetation that would grow well and would not require an excessive amount of maintenance. Within a day or two of our meeting, she provided us with estimates for the various options, and we quickly agreed on the work to be done.

We can't say enough for the work ethic and professionalism of both Laura and Tyler Thomas. They did exactly what they were hired to do, they were accommodating, easy to work with, and they completed their work in a timely fashion. As promised, shortly thereafter, they were on site to plant 4 trees and began working on the raised garden beds. Tyler assisted in the planting of the trees, handled the construction of the raised garden beds (see photo), and levelled off some of the low spots on our property. He and his crew were professional. We could not be more pleased with the results. This was not a small project and, despite bad weather, within 2 weeks, we had an esthetically pleasing, large, raised bed vegetable garden (complete with vegetables), 4 new trees, and 2 attractively landscaped areas which had previously been eyesores. Without any hesitation, we would hire Laura and Tyler Thomas again to do other landscaping work at our home. These days, it's always refreshing to find hard workers who are professional and who exceed our expectations. Hidden Habitat and Muskoka Cottage Services did a GREAT JOB for us. Laura's show, "IN THE DIRT" airs once per month on Hunters Bay Radio. You can always hear those shows on demand by clicking on the following link to the Hunters Bay Radio podcasts: Here are the links to Laura's and Tyler's respective websites and to their contact info:

Laura Thomas: Phone: 705-828-6313  Email:

Tyler Thomas:  Phone: 705-828-7560  Email:

Give them a call and tell them Jamie and Shauna referred you.

Written by Jamie Oppenheimer ©2020 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED