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 June 2022

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

Plant of the Month- December

Limber Pine, Pinus flexilis

Pinus flexilis, also known as Limber pine, is an evergreen useful for adding winter interest and structure to the garden. The common name of Limber pine refers to the flexible branches on the tree, an adaptation allowing this evergreen to avoid branch loss in areas of heavy snow.

It is found natively in the Rocky Mountains at elevations of 5,000 to 12,000 feet. The cultivar ‘Vanderwolf’s Pyramid’ is planted in the OXA demonstration garden and has an upright, columnar form with long, twisted, closely-spaced blue-green needles. At maturity, this pine will reach a height of 30 feet with a width of 20 feet.

Pinus flexilis ‘Vanderwolf’s Pyramid’ is hardy in zones 4-7 and can be successfully grown in either a full-sun or part-sun location and is not particular about soil type or pH. This pine establishes a long tap root and is therefore difficult to transplant once established in the landscape, so please consider its placement carefully.

Pinus flexilis ‘Vanderwolf’s Pyramid’ is a long-lived evergreen often reaching 100 years and can be enjoyed for generations to come.

Photo by David Strang

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.

Leave the leaves!

Leave the leaves! Don’t stress over fall garden clean-up. Just leave the leaves on the ground where they fall.

Spring Bulbs

Fall is the ideal time to get a jump on next year’s garden by planting a pop of colour in the spring garden.

Fall Planting

Fall is a much better time for planting perennials. Find out all of the benefits in this article.

Hot Weather Gardening

Hot weather can be tough on even xeriscape plants. Here are some tips on how to help them survive.

Removing a Lawn

One of the first steps towards xeriscaping is to remove as much of your lawn as possible. Here are some options for lawn removal.

Family Members Don’t Always Look Alike

OXA’s annual plant sale will offer two Persicaria species you might not even recognize as being related.

Plants for Dry Shade

OXA’s annual plant sale will offer several plants that perform well under the challenging conditions of growing in dry, but shady beds.

Sprinkler Distribution Uniformity

Take a deep dive into sprinkler Distribution Uniformity how evenly an irrigation system provides water over a given area.

Alternative Lawns

One of the easiest ways to reduce your water use on the landscape is to consider alternatives to the traditional lawn.


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. Xeriscape is a very effective way to make water work.