The Okanagan Xeriscape Association

the Okanagan Xeriscape Association UNH20 Garden project June 2020


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 Garden in 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.

We would love you to join us! Find out more.



Our annual sale was a success despite the need to hold it in a very different way from previous years in order to provide social distancing. A big thank you to all of those who supported us this year.

Keep an eye out here for future events

OXA Blog
Our new blog 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 well as a valuable archive of articles.

Make Water Work link to the website

Did you know that the 2nd largest use of water in the Okanagan is used on 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.

Plant of the Month

Tip of the month for Okanagan Xeriscape Organisation

Echinacea purpurea

Echinacea purpurea, commonly called purple coneflower, is stunning in the Xeriscape demonstration garden right now.

This perennial has a long bloom period, featuring daisy-like blooms flowering from June to September with regular deadheading and is excellent as either a cut or dried flower. Its blooms will attract bees, butterflies and other pollinators to the garden but it is seldom bothered by deer.

Echinacea purpurea is tolerant of drought, heat, and poor soil, flowering best in full sun but tolerant of some shade. The plant typically reaches 4 ft with a spread of 2 feet and looks lovely mass planted in borders with Rudbeckia hirta, known commonly as black-eyed Susan.

Originally Echinacea only sported purple blooms as the common name suggests, however plant breeders have been busy creating cultivars which feature an array of new colours and even some that have multiple colors on one plant.

Pictured is the cultivar ‘Sombrero Baja Burgundy’. The seed heads offer winter interest and provide late season food for a variety of birds.

Tip of the Month

Euphorbia polychroma 'Bonfire'- Plant of the Month for June for OXA

Get the Most from Your Perennials

With the unusually wet, cool spring, plants have flourished and bloomed abundantly. Abrupt change to hot summer weather can be hard on them. Flowers will fade more quickly.

Now is a good time to do a midseason, major garden clean-up. After this, there will just be some dead-heading and weeding a few times until fall clean-up after frost.
When your soil is wet (if it is anything other than fast-draining sandy soil) try to minimize stepping on it to avoid compaction.

Continue reading in our blog for more early summer maintenance tips


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 our UnH2O Demonstration Garden – a 4,000 square foot garden, planted in 2010, which includes five theme areas to illustrate xeriscape possiblities.

Xeriscape Stories

Our Xeriscape Stories includes photographs and stories showing xeriscape in action right here 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 of interest and a directory of xeriscape gardens to visit in the Okanagan.
We would like to thank the Okanagan Basin Water Board and Okanagan WaterWise for their support and funding