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.

Join us.
Support us.
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.

OXA UnH2O Garden September 2023
Contact Us:

We would love you to join us!

Plant of the Month- July

Phyteuma scheuchzeri

I was unfamiliar with Phyteuma scheuchzeri until I saw it naturalized in a member’s garden where it received almost no supplementary irrigation. After inquiring as to what it was, I felt compelled to share it as plant of the month.

Known commonly as Horned Rampion, this quirky flowering perennial is a member of the Campanulaceae family. As is true with so many in this Bellflower family, this perennial blooms violet-blue from May through July. The blooms themselves are distinctly un-bell-like and instead could be likened to a Sputnik shape.

It is useful for planting in a rock garden or the front of a border as it is diminutive in size, only reaching 25cm with the flower head included.

Phyteuma scheuchzeri is native to alpine areas of the European Alps and Apennines where it is found growing in rocky outcrops at altitudes up to 3600 meters. The research I have done on this perennial does not specify drought tolerance, but the reality I have seen seems to suggest it certainly is xeric.

Pyteuma scheuchzeri (Horned Rampion) is OXA plant of the month July 2024


Dig with Sig will return in the Spring
FRIDAYS – 9 – 11 am
UnH2O Demonstration Garden – 4075 Gordon Drive in front of the H2O Adventure Centre

Dig with Sig

This popular weekly drop-in allows you to spend time working in the UH2O Garden with Sigrie Kendrick, OXA’s executive director and master gardener! This is a great opportunity to learn more about drought-tolerant plants and xeriscape landscaping.

You do not need to be an OXA member to join us in the garden–  simply come along with gloves and a trowel.

For those not available on Fridays, we are offering a Saturday Dig with Sig– on Sept 7th.

If you are interested in joining us, please confirm there is space by email to

Do you follow us?

If not, you really should check us out! Our social media pages are super informative and fabulous to follow especially for current events and seasonal information on everything xeriscape. Sharon Spring, OXA Vice President and Director of Social Media, does incredible and passionate work in creating content to promote OXA and xeriscape.

Follow us and take a good poke around through previous posts for gorgeous photos and great content.

OXA instagram

Our Blog

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.

Great Garden Choices

Clearly, change is afoot when it comes to gardening in the Okanagan. See what great choices are being made.

Bat-Friendly Gardening

Learn what you can do to cultivate a bat-friendly garden in the Okanagan

Pollinator-Friendly Gardens

How to attract and keep pollinators in your xeriscape garden. Article by guest author Pat Zander.

Prepping for Winter

Find out why to leave the leaves, don’t mow down the grasses
and allow perennials and annuals to go to seed.

Plant Hardiness Zones for the Okanagan

Knowing the plant hardiness zone of your garden is vital to choosing the right plants. It is a relatively simple concept that has some complications.

Extreme Weather Gardening

Both extreme heat and extreme cold can cause damage to plants. Find out what we can do to help.

On inspiration and irrigation

Hiking around the Okanagan is a wonderful opportunity to bring home inspiration for your own
landscapes, as well as a reminder that it is very dry out there.

Invasive Plants Danger

Invasive plants reduce biodiversity and pose a significant threat to agricultural crops, wildlife habitat, water quality and native plant ecosystems.

Plants for Slope Retention

A cost-effective, low-maintenance and eco-friendly solution to retain your slope is to look at Mother Nature


About Xeriscape

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

Find information on how to xeriscape for both new and established gardens, including a complete description of the Seven Principles of Xeriscape.

Xeriscape Classes

Current information about our Xeriscape Gardening Classes which run twice a year, in the spring and fall, as well as any other special workshops, classes or events.
Use our Okanagan Plant Database to help you find the best plants for your garden. Search criteria includes plant types, heights, spread, water/light conditions, bloom months, bloom colours, foliage colours and special features .

Get Inspired

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)

Xeriscape Stories

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.


Informative resources, including an extensive list of the best books on xeriscape for our climate, links to websites, and a directory of xeriscape gardens to visit in the Okanagan, including our UnH2O and Spirit Square Garden.

We would like to thank the Okanagan Basin Water Board and Okanagan WaterWise for their support and funding

Did you know?

  1. There is LESS water available per person in the Okanagan than anywhere else in Canada
  2. The Okanagan has one of the highest rates of water use per person in Canada
  3. 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.

You will also find valuable information such as these useful PDF publications–
Make Water Works Tip Sheet and Make Water Works Plant Collection

Xeriscape is a very effective way to make water work.

link to Make Water Work logo