Steele: Water-wise plants at annual xeriscape plant sale

Xeriscape experts and Master Gardeners will be on hand to answer your gardening questions.

The unH2O Rock Garden includes pink thrift (Armeria ‘Dusseldorf Pride’)

Be sure to stop by the unH2O Xeriscape Demonstration Garden on Saturday, May 3, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., for the Okanagan Xeriscape Association’s popular xeriscape plant sale.

The garden is in front of the H2O Aquatic Centre, 4075 Gordon Dr.

There will be hundreds of water-wise plants to choose from.

Proceeds from the plant sale help cover expenses for the volunteer-maintained garden.

Xeriscape experts and Master Gardeners will be on hand to answer your gardening questions.

The Invasive Species Council of B.C. will have their ‘Grow Me Instead’ information booth and expert to explain invasive plants to avoid and what to grow instead.

There will be information tables for Seeds of Diversity, Bartlett Tree Services and Waterwise Landscape Design.

Okanagan Lavender Farm will have their lavender products for sale.

Dean Dack, from Classic Compost, will have his high quality mulch for sale.

Profits will support CRIS Adaptive Adventures (Outdoor Pursuits for People with Disabilities) whose volunteers will bag the mulch and carry it to your vehicle.

New this year, the Kelowna Waldorf School will have beverages and yummy baking for sale to add to your enjoyment of this gardening event.

To help with selection, plants for sale will be set out beside the theme garden they belong with and an expert will be in each theme garden to answer your questions.

Choose these Okanagan native plants for a great start to a drought-tolerant wildflower meadow.

Showy aster has blue flowers from June to frost. Orange arnica has masses of deep gold flowers in May and June and again at summer’s end.

Both spread rapidly by seed and roots.

Gaillardia (red/yellow) is a close relative of the native brown-eyed susan. Blooming all summer and self-seeding, it’s a good companion to the asters.

There will be over 200 pots of hen and chicks.

They are perfect for making wall gardens or shallow centre-pieces for the patio table as well as in dry sun or part shade gardens.

Each child who comes to the sale may choose a free pot of hen and chicks to take home for their own garden.

There are also many varieties of sedum (stonecrop) to combine with hen and chicks for a very easy-care dry garden. Add in thrift for fuschia pink, spring bloom and evergreen foliage.

Blue fescue or blue hair grass (Koeleria glauca) could be included for texture variation in a very drought-tolerant rock garden.

Elfin thyme is great between pavers.

Look for more about plants for sale in next week’s column.

Save the date, tell your friends, family, neighbours and colleagues, and join us on Saturday, May 3.

***

Due to popular demand extra xeriscape classes are scheduled for Thursday, May 8 and 15, 7 to 9 p.m. Details are on the OXA website.

The Summerland Ornamental Gardens plant sale is Sunday, May 4. See www.summerlandornamentalgardens.org/.

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