Garden Contest 2013

The Xeriscape Garden Contest is designed to showcase the beauty of Xeriscape Landscapes and to recognise homeowners for demonstrating the versatility of Xeriscape Gardens. The main objectives are to increase awareness of innovations in landscaping and water use efficiency, and to encourage others by giving them good ideas for their own gardens.

An article on the contest follows below and links to individual stories with photos can be found in the sidebar on the right.

Okanagan Xeriscape Association’s 2013 Xeriscape Garden Awards

On September 21st the awards ceremony for the Okanagan Xeriscape Association’s 2013 Xeriscape Garden Contest was held at the H2O Aquatic Centre. (Heavy rainfall prevented the event from being held in the unH2O Garden.)

The contest, open to all residents of the Central Okanagan, had eleven entries.
Once again there was tremendous variation and creativity in the gardens, illustrating a wide range of what can be accomplished using the Principles of Xeriscape.

Most gardens had been created in the past one to seven years. One was created in 1988 and is likely the oldest xeriscape in this area.

While some properties were fully xeriscaped, gardeners who still have some water-thirsty vegetation have been spurred on by initial success to plan more xeriscape projects.

Judging criteria for the contest included:

  1.  Health, vigour, suitability and variety of xeriscape plants
  2. Suitability of design to its site and usage, creative use of hardscapes, runoff prevention and habitat restoration/preservation
  3. Use of mulch and ease of maintenance including appropriate spacing to minimize pruning
  4. Freedom from perennial weeds, maintenance of paths, structures and cultivated areas
  5. Low water use – type of water system, decrease from former use, minimal or no turf
  6. Aesthetics – harmonious blending of colours, shapes and textures, seasonal change, plantings in proportion to property and buildings.

Local Landscape Architect, Lindsay Clement, volunteered her time to assist with the judging.

In addition to receiving an engraved garden ornament made by B-line Design, winners were given a $100 gift certificate donated by a nursery. Each runner-up received a donated draw prize. OXA is very grateful for the support of all donors.

Winner of the best professionally designed and installed residential landscape: Carol Drury, designed by Waterwise Landscape Design (gift certificate: Sagebrush Nursery)
Runner-up: Ann MacDonald, designed by Wendy Cary (gift certificate: two hours pruning from Bartlett Tree Services)

Winner best small garden: Wayne Goreski (gift certificate: Bylands Garden Centre)
Runners-up: Dianne Schneiders (‘Creating the Prairie Xeriscape’ book from OXA) and Ray Kirsinger (gift certificate from Green & Bear It).

Winner best large garden: Jane Youngberg (gift certificate: Wild Bloom Nursery)
Runner-up: Caroline Loesgen (Classic Compost – two yards of mulch and delivery)

Winner best commercial landscape: celler-tek, designed and installed by Waterwise Landscape Design (gift certificate: ILR Nursery)
Runner-up: Northwood Retirement Resort, designed and installed by Prestige Lawn and Landscape Services (pruning tools Bartlett Tree Services)

All contest entrants were eager to share their stories to encourage others to make the change. Links to the individual stories and photos of the gardens can be found in the right sidebar.

Okanagan Xeriscape Association's Garden Contest 2013 award recipients

Garden contest entrants, from left to right – Caroline Loesgen, Dianne Schneiders, Ann MacDonald, Gwen Steele (executive director of OXA), Carol Drury, Jane Youngberg, Wayne Goreski, Jill Lemke (Prestige Landscaping)

Photo credit: Barry Gerding

* Garden Contest 2011 and individual stories can be found here