Volunteers setting out plants for the Okanagan Xeriscape Association Plant Sale in the unH2O Xeriscape Demonstration Garden, in front of the H2O Aquatic Centre. Sale begins at 9:00am Saturday, April 29. - Image: Gwen Steele

Sweet plant sales this weekend

In Kelowna, the xeriscape plants sell quickly so you might want to go there first

Two big plant sales happen this coming Saturday morning, April 29: the Kelowna Garden Club Sale at Guisachan Gardens and the Okanagan Xeriscape Association Xeriscape Plant Sale at the unH2O Xeriscape Garden in front of the H2O Aquatic Centre, 4075 Gordon Drive.

Both begin at 9 a.m. OXA’s runs to noon and KGC’s ends at 1 p.m.

The xeriscape plants sell quickly so you might want to go there first. This is my last of three columns about what will be at the OXA sale.

Aside from very healthy, well-labelled plants we will have:

• Xeriscape experts and Master Gardeners to answer questions

• The Okanagan Basin Water Board’s Make Water Work program to encourage reduction in landscape irrigation and promote use of water-wise plants

• Free invasive plant books (supplied by the Regional District) for pick up from the Master Gardener’s table

• The Border Free Bee program with information about the Nectar Trail being created between Summerhill Winery and the unH2O Garden, their pollinator pasture project, native bees, and how to attract pollinators to your garden

• SeedCo selling Okanagan native seeds

• Information about the Okanagan Collaborative Conservation Program (OCCP).

New this year we will have Wild Bloom Nursery selling xeriscape plants that OXA is not able to propagate. Some of these are much sought after and hard to find.

OXA will be selling 2017 memberships to support the work of this not-for-profit organization. Membership benefits include:

• 10 per cent discount at eight local nurseries

• 10 per cent discount off OXA classes and workshops

• Free admission to member-only events including pruning workshops

• An opportunity to learn by volunteering in the unH2O Garden.

OXA will also be selling plant photo cards, class registrations and our favourite xeriscape reference ‘Creating the Prairie Xeriscape’ by Sara Williams.

For a list of plants available at the plant sale check under the plant sale poster at www.okanaganxeriscape.org where you will also find photos and details of all the plants for sale on OXA’s plant database.

In addition to the Okanagan native plants mentioned last week, some of the other extremely drought tolerant plants available at OXA’s sale in the Mediterannean and Rock Garden sections are:

• Tall late blooming sedums: ‘Autumn Fire’ and ‘Matrona’

• Ground cover sedums: ‘Fuldeglut’, ‘Angelina’, and Russian stonecrop

• Dwarf grasses: Blue fescue, blue hair grass, and blue gramma grass

• Nepeta ‘Walker’s Low’, an exceptionally long-blooming and well-behaved catmint, is a pollinator magnet

• A limited number of Opuntia polycantha cactus pads.

In addition there will be a small selection of low-water, part shade plants set out under the Golden Rain tree in the Mediterranean Garden.

Summerland Ornamental Gardens big, two day plant sale is May 6 and 7 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. www.summerlandgardens.org.

The last spring session of OXA’s ‘Introduction to Xeriscape’ workshop is Saturday, May 13 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Kelowna. For information and to register, go to the classes page at www.okanaganxeriscape.org.

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

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