Situating plants in suitable spots can enhance their growth -Image: Pinterest

Putting the right plants in the right place

Some ideas for renovating your xeriscape garden in cooler weather

Now that the weather has cooled, it’s a perfect time renovate gardens.

After watching the renovations of a garden near me, I felt it would be good to review their process to pass on some pointers.

Weedy rock mulch and landscape fabric were removed. The irrigation system was upgraded and tested. (I hope the remaining turf is on a different zone from the garden beds.)

Good soil was brought in and dug into planting areas, rejuvenating the soil. The turf was top dressed with mulch and garden beds were mulched once planted.

The one downside was in the choice of plants. Hydrangeas have been placed against the south facing wall of the building where they will bake and need extra water to keep them alive. They would do better in part shade or at least planted well away from the building’s reflected heat.

Russian sage would have thrived in that extra heat but they have been planted well away from the building and several are in the shade of a covered entry way. Here they will fail to thrive and will be spindly with fewer flowers. If they are on the same watering zone as the hydrangeas they will get far too much water, further stressing them. Once established, Russian sage can grow without supplemental water.

To have optimum performance from a plant it is necessary to place it in its most favourable growing conditions.

Check the tags at the nursery to see if a plant needs full sun, part shade or shade.

Some plants are flexible, growing in more than one light condition. If a plant leans toward the sun and tends to be spindly, it needs more sun. If leaves get crispy or droopy even when watered adequately, a plant may need more shade.

To find water-wise plants for the Okanagan, check the plant database at www.okanaganxeriscape.org.

There are 23 search criteria including light, water needs, size, bloom time and colour for over 375 plants, and photos of each plant.

Another major factor to consider is how big a plant will grow. Be sure to allow space for the plant to grow to its full width and height, taking into account proximity to other plants, walkways, windows, and buildings. Look out for power lines, clothes lines and building overhangs.

Beware of planting a cute little tree in a small front yard as it will likely fill the yard and block out light to windows. Using appropriate sized plants for the available space will minimize/eliminate future pruning tasks.

The plant database is also useful for selecting a variety of plants that have different blooming times to ensure that there is something blooming from early spring bulbs to late autumn colour. The database has fall colour as an optional criteria.

Eva Antonijevic will be presenting OXA’s ‘Introduction to Xeriscape’ workshop: Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Oct. 14 in Penticton.

Details and registration information are on the OXA website: www.okanaganxeriscape.org

Gwen Steele is executive-director of the non-profit Okanagan Xeriscape Association.

Just Posted

Smart Cities Challenge needs community support

What challenges could Penticton solve with innovative ideas and $50 million?

Kelowna council settles on 3.6 per cent tax increase for 2018

“Safety” budget heavy on a wide-range of public safety related spending

Meningococcal disease outbreak declared in Okanagan

Five cases in last six months among 15-to-19 year-olds, including one in Coldstream

Mail bandit puts damper on Christmas in Central Okanagan

Mail Box thefts have been reported throughout the Okanagan

VIDEO: Average Canadian food bill to rise by $348 in 2018

Atlantic Canada and B.C. will see the most increases for consumers

B.C. government to launch coastal ferry review in January

The Province will begin a comprehensive review of the coastal ferry service in British Columbia in 2018

Federal Crown drops appeal after charges against pot activist dismissed

Dana Larsen said he was served notice at his home in Vancouver and the case was to be heard July 2

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to marry May 19

Kensington Palace announced the date to the public Friday

#MeToo at work: How reporting sexual harassment works – and how it doesn’t

British Columbians have four options to report harassment or assault, but none of them are easy

Debt-to-household-income ratio rises in third quarter

Total household credit market debt grew to $2.11 trillion in the third quarter

Charges in car wash shooting stalled

Court waits for police watchdog report on Salmon Arm incident.

PART I: How Prince Rupert schools teach Indigenous language to hundreds of students

A multimedia series with videos and photos from children’s Sm’algyax classes on B.C.’s North Coast

B.C. Mountie told to resign after texting teenage sex assault victim

RCMP documents say Const. Brian Eden sent sexually inappropriate photos to 17-year-old girl

Most Read