The Okanagan Xeriscape Association
You have just opened the door to a whole new way of looking at your landscape, whether that’s the yard around a house; the landscaping around your condo; the entrance to your business; or the welcome to a new home or subdivision you’ve built.
The Okanagan Xeriscape Association is a registered charity founded in 2009 to help people Garden with Nature, conserving water and energy in the process, but creating beauty.
Enjoy our website and extensive plant database of waterwise plants.
Come to a class or workshop.
Visit our Xeriscape Demonstration Gardens in Kelowna and West Kelowna.
Learn while volunteering. Ask questions of our experts.
By learning more about xeriscape, you are learning how to create colourful, attractive outdoor spaces while minimizing your use of water—a resource that’s in short supply in the arid Okanagan climate, as well as elsewhere.
That means you save money on water, but at the same time, when you employ xeriscape principles you also save money on pesticides because you’re growing plants that suit their natural environment so they are less vulnerable to insects and diseases.
Xeriscape Horticulture for Professionals Workshop
Presented by the Okanagan Xeriscape Association and featuring Egan Davis, this full-day intensive workshop is a rare chance to grow your skills if you are interested in professional xeriscape landscaping, permaculture, or using native plants in landscapes.
Egan will be talking about meadow-making and the long-grass movement, and other local experts will be presenting on healthy soil, slope stabilization/erosion control methods, and how to use xeriscape and native plants in a low-water landscape. It’s also a great chance to network!
Date: Friday, February 10, 2023
Time: 9 am – 5 pm
Location: 1171 Harvey Avenue, Kelowna
Tickets: $165 per participant including coffee, tea and snacks, followed by a lunch buffet. Available through Eventbrite
Egan Davis is the manager of parks operations for the City of Richmond. He has a background in horticulture education, managing botanical collections, and has worked in nursery and greenhouse production and landscape construction.
He has international horticulture experience, including working at Gothenburg Botanical Garden and Klinta Gardens in Sweden and on botanical expeditions in North America, Eurasia and New Zealand.
Closer to home, he has worked for VanDusen and UBC Botanical Gardens, Park and Tilford Gardens, the BCRPA and HortEd.ca
Plant of the Month- January
The genus Crassula is a diverse group of succulents native to many areas of the globe, with most of the species in cultivation originating from South Africa. The genus includes both branching shrubs, rosette forms and stacked varieties in a wide variety of colours. One of the branching varieties, Crassula ovata, is the common house plant known as a Jade plant.
Crassula perforata ‘variegata’ is one of the stacking varieties and features fleshy triangle-shaped grey green leaves with red or yellow margins. Crassula perforata ‘variegata’ will quickly reach a height between 12-24 inches with a spread of 6-8 inches. This species will be topped with pale, small, star-shaped white or yellow flowers in the spring. These succulents prefer to be sited in a full sun location which will significantly improve their leaf colour and bloom time. This species is hardy to zone 9 so not hardy to our growing zone here in the Okanagan Valley and therefore must be brought inside in the fall when temperatures dip.
Crassula are easy to grow but as with all succulents, prone to root rot if over-watered so always keep these on the dry side especially during the winter months when they are dormant. Crassula perforata ‘variegata’ is extremely easy to propagate by stem cuttings inserted into the soil or leaf cuttings laid on top of the soil.
While these succulents are not hardy to our low winter temperatures, they are members of the stonecrop family Crassulaceae which includes many species hardy to the Okanagan such as the native Sedum divergens currently sleeping under our blanket of snow.
Our new blog, On The Dry Side, is an opportunity to share information on how to garden with nature while conserving water in the Okanagan Valley.
As a group blog and forum, we welcome your contributions and comments and hope to create a blossoming community of xeriscape gardeners as well as a valuable archive of articles.
What is xeriscape and why it is perfect for the Okanagan environment? Learn how you can start conserving water in your own landscape.
7 Principles of Xeriscape
The UnH2O Garden
A complete guide to each of our UnH2O Demonstration Garden themed beds– a 4,000 square foot garden, planted in 2010, which includes six theme areas to illustrate xeriscape possibilities. (See the Get Inspired tab in our main menu)
Our Xeriscape Garden Stories include photographs and stories showing xeriscape in action right here in several gardens in the Okanagan including winners from our 2011 and 2013 Xeriscape Garden Contests.
We would like to thank the Okanagan Basin Water Board and Okanagan WaterWise for their support and funding
Did you know?
- There is LESS water available per person in the Okanagan than anywhere else in Canada
- The Okanagan has one of the highest rates of water use per person in Canada
- The 2nd largest use of water in the Okanagan is for watering our household lawns & gardens
Here’s a reminder to check out the Make Water Work website to make your pledge to reduce water waste. Xeriscape is a very effective way to make water work.