Lifestyles

Steele: Take a tour of unH2O xeriscape garden

Now that we have been through yet another hot, dry summer, many people are looking for ways to reduce their water bill and have an easier-care, more interesting garden.

I would love to share some ideas with you so please join me on Wednesday, Aug. 27, 7 p.m., at the unH2O Xeriscape Demonstration Garden, 4075 Gordon Dr.,  in front of the H2O Aquatic Centre, for a free guided tour of the garden.

I’ll give some suggestions about how to remove lawn and ideas of various types of water-wise plants to replace it with.

The unH2O Garden was created specifically to illustrate what could be duplicated in a home garden setting.

All plants in the garden have been selected for their long season of interest.

Many are long-blooming or repeat bloomers. Others have been chosen for their attractive foliage.

All are available from local garden centres and nurseries.

There are five theme gardens.

The Butterfly Garden and the Ornamental Grass Garden have been receiving water weekly since it turned hot at the end of June.

The Mediterranean Garden has been watered only as needed in the extended period of hot weather.

The Rock Gardens and Native Garden were watered in 2010 when they were planted and not since then.

All gardens are on an inline drip system.

It’s good to visit the garden in the late summer and fall to see what blooms at this time of year.

Tall sedums, ‘Matrona’ and ‘Arctic Fire,’ are just beginning to bloom.

The bee-magnet shrub bluebeard (Caryopteris) is about to flower.

Salvias and Nepeta ‘Walker’s Low’ that were cut back in early July are re-blooming.

Long bloomers Rudbeckia ‘Goldsturm,’ Aster frikartii, Gaillardia ‘Burgundy’ and Coreopsis ‘Golden Gain’ are still eye-catching.

Ornamental grasses are in full glory.

Pollinator

Although plants were not chosen specifically to create a ‘bee’ garden, the unH2O is always alive with an amazing diversity of pollinators.

These have proven fascinating to both adults and children.

We will have copies of my favourite xeriscape reference, ‘Creating the Prairie Xeriscape’ by Sara Williams, for sale as well as photo cards of plants in the garden.

Both are fund raisers for the Okanagan Xeriscape Association (OXA).

As well, 2014 OXA memberships will be available.

I hope to see you on Aug. 27. If you cannot make it, then be sure to visit the garden and pick up a garden brochure from the box to the right of the main entrance sign.

It contains a list of the plants in each theme garden.

Also check the OXA website www.okanaganxeriscape.org for xeriscape information, a photo gallery, and a plant database with 22 search options.

You can learn more about xeriscape at my two night class: Thursday, Sept. 18 and 25, or Wednesday, Oct.1 and 8 . Details and registration information are on the OXA website.

 

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