Lesson in landscape renovation

The entry from the Hysslop family was named winner of the best small xeriscape garden.

The entry from the Hysslop family was named winner of the best small garden in the Okanagan Xeriscape Association’s 2011 Xeriscape Garden Contest Awards.

Sandy and Greg Hysslop and their two children planned their landscape renovation together and did the work themselves in 2010.

The following is excerpted from Greg’s description of how they followed the Seven Principles of Xeriscape to create their attractive, water wise front yard.

“One: Planning and design.

First we assessed our needs—parking, walkways, retaining wall, lighting, seating and seasonal beauty.

“Second, we used pegs and ropes to make a grid and visualize the different ideas.

“Third, plants and mechanical considerations were planned.

“Two: Soil preparation. We removed the thirsty maple tree (its roots extended twice as far as the canopy cover), the old traditional lawn and about 20 yards of sand and rock.

“Next, we rototilled down about 18 inches then tilled in compost, peat (sorry we now know it is non-renewable), sawdust, other organics and new soil. After that, we added between four to eight inches of topsoil.

“Finally, we added approximately four inches of Ogogrow premium mulch.

“Three: Practical turf areas. We put in a patch of grass for each child, just the right size to lie on in the summer or make snow angels on in the winter. We used an “enviro-lawn” grass that requires less watering.

“Four: Efficient irrigation. We set up two separate drip irrigation zones.  Each zone has different types of emitters that can be adjusted to each plant’s needs. We have a large rain barrel that we use for supplemental watering. The overflow is used for low pressure drip irrigation. I have directed two of our downspouts to give some areas extra water.

“Five: Appropriate plant selection. Before choosing, Sandy spent a great deal of time making many visits to nurseries in the area, a trip to the Summerland Ornamental Garden’s Xeriscape Gardens, and many walks around different neighbourhoods in different cities looking at water wise plant groupings.

“Light requirements have been taken into account.

“Six: Mulching. All the garden beds have four inches of Ogogrow premium mulch. No landscape fabric was used.

“We used a rock mulch as ground cover around the perimeter of the house for fire protection and on the parking pad.

“Seven: Garden maintenance. The children do the majority of the weeding. When they step out of line, they get to pull 40 weeds which usually only takes them five minutes.

“Mowing, watering, pruning and pest control are all minimal. This project was a lot of work, but it has really paid for itself in time saved and enjoyment gained. All four of us are very proud of what we did.”

I invite you to visit the gallery page at www.okanaganxeriscape.org  to view more photos of this garden and others that were entered in the xeriscape garden contest.

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

 

Just Posted

UPDATE: Missing dog from high velocity Kelowna car crash found

Jewels is recovering in the comfort of her home

Kelowna’s Boucherie Grind sweats for a cause

The event exceeded it’s fundraising goal

Dancing in the Park returns for another year

Lace up your dancing shoes, Kelowna

Kelowna Ride Don’t Hide raises $85,000

The CMHA honours two brothers during fundraiser

Moms of those killed by illicit opioids take to B.C. Legislature in call for action

Moms Stop the Harm, a nationwide network of families who have lost loved ones to overdoses rally

VIDEO: Canadian toddler caught practising hockey skills in crib

Eli Graveline is getting praise from far and wide as the internet freaks out of cute throwback video

Kamloops Fire Centre reports 3 new fires in area, all lightning-sparked

Includes a 0.3-ha. fire east of Penticton, 0.01-ha. fire by Merritt and a 1.77-ha. fire near Lytton

Reel Reviews: Playing Tag with the Incredibles

The conclusion: “Both these movies are exactly what you’d expect.”

Man shot dead in Surrey ID’d as hockey coach and father of two

Murder of Paul Bennett – a respected Peace Arch Hospital worker and ‘champion of sport’ – ‘not random’

Mabel Lake Road roll over claims life

Armstrong man died in hospital after single vehicle roll over June 18

Thunder, strong winds possible for Okanagan

Environment Canada released the special weather statement Sunday afternoon

Canadian Syrian children’s choir not to attend festival over fears about U.S. travel

Many kids are recent immigrants from countries covered by Trump travel ban

B.C. teacher ends Jeopardy! winning streak, taking home US$69,000

Ali Hasan, from New Westminster, has been gaining fans as a “one-man invasion,” says Alex Trebek

Most Read