The UnH2O Demonstration Garden started with a dream to show people the beauty and functionality of xeriscape gardening. The Okanagan Xeriscape Association wishes to thank everyone for their contributions that made the dream a reality and welcomes everyone to visit the garden, situated in front of the H2O Adventure Center at 4075 Gordon Drive in Kelowna.
The goal of this public garden is to show the beauty and versatile range of garden styles that can be achieved using xeriscape principles. Xeriscape is much more than rocks and cactus. It is a garden landscape that requires little to no supplemental water from irrigation. This is an important concept to embrace in a near-desert valley.
The 4,000 square foot garden, planted in 2010, has five theme areas to illustrate some possibilities in a xeriscape. The Mediterranean Garden, two Rock Gardens, the Native Plant Garden and the Ornamental Grass Garden nearest the sidewalk all contain very low water use plants that will only be irrigated in the first year while they become established.
The Butterfly Garden and the Ornamental Grass Garden on the far side of the mulched pathway will always need a small amount of supplemental water during dry periods. The drip system under the mulch minimizes water use. The trees are on their own irrigation zone as their watering needs differ from the rest of the plants.
The garden is a research tool. Records are kept by the OXA on water use in each garden and on plant performance. The garden is also used as an outdoor classroom to teach xeriscape classes offered by the OXA. It is maintained by volunteers. As with all gardens, this one will evolve over time.
We hope you enjoy the garden and share our passion for beautiful water-efficient and regionally-appropriate landscapes to apply in your own outdoor spaces.