Lifestyle

Steele: Enjoy free tour of unH20 Xeriscape Garden

Please join Lisa Masini, an Okanagan Xeriscape Association board member and xeriscape landscape designer, for a free tour of the unH2O Xeriscape Demonstration Garden, at 4075 Gordon Dr. in front of the H2O Aquatic Centre, on Wednesday, July 25, 7 p.m.

She will talk about the creation of the garden and the many plants that are in bloom, as well as answer questions.

Throughout the valley, the cool wet weather this spring made for lush growth and long-lasting blooms. Now most plants are stressed by the sudden hot, dry weather.

At the xeriscape garden three of the theme gardens are doing well with no supplemental water.

In the Mediterranean garden, Oenothera missouriensis (Missouri evening primrose), Coreopsis ‘Golden Gain’ and Delosperma cooperi (hardy ice plant) will continue to bloom into fall.

Santolina, grown for it’s year round silver foliage, has yellow button flowers this month. Nepeta ‘Walker’s Low’ has been cut back but will re-bloom as will the lavender, if it is dead-headed.

The Koelreuteria tree is just coming into bloom and will later have lantern-shaped seed heads that persist through winter. It is a wonderful small shade tree for well-drained soil.

The rock gardens are filled with a variety of foliage colours and textures. Various succulents will bloom at different times.

In the native garden, brown-eyed Susans, showy aster and golden aster will bloom all summer.

The butterfly garden and most of the ornamental grass garden have been receiving a small amount of drip irrigation since the hot weather began.

In the butterfly garden Echinacea ‘Magnus’, Rudbeckia ‘Goldsturm’ Aster frikartii, and Coreopsis ‘Zagreb’ will bloom until fall.

Three varieties of yarrow, two salvias, and two varieties of low growing bluebells have been dead-headed and will all bloom again.

The eye-catching, starry-blue sprays of sea lavender will bloom for about a month. Look for the golden flower heads of tufted hair grass.

In the ornamental grass garden, two of my favourite combinations will look great all summer and into fall.

The yellow-centred, blue Aster frikartii are complimented by yellow Stella d’Oro daylilies. Foliage of daylilies goes well with ornamental grasses.

Mass plantings of the long-blooming Rudbeckia ‘Goldsturm’ are excellent with many ornamental grasses.

Here they are paired with the fine foliage and unusual flowers of blue gramma grass (native of the short-grass prairie).

I hope you will come on July 25, or at another time, to see the colourful xeriscape garden. Brochures with the plant list are available from a box beside the main sign in the garden.

If you have a xeriscape garden in your landscape, please enter the Xeriscape Garden Contest.

It is an opportunity to share your experiences and encourage others to make the change to water-wise gardening. There are categories for home gardeners as well as professionals. See the OXA website for details.

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