The Achenbach Garden

The Achenbach Garden, designed by Waterwise Landscape Design is a good example of xeriscape conversion. It had been a front yard of poor lawn and an unkempt water-thirsty cedar hedge.

First, the lawn, weeds, and cedars were removed. A few weeks later, more weeding was done before bringing in high quality topsoil for planting areas.

Plants were chosen for low maintenance and low water needs. They are well-spaced to allow for mature size. A drip watering system was installed with custom emitters used to accommodate plants with different water needs. The soil was then mulched with three inches of Ogogrow.

With two exceptions, the xeriscaping principles have been followed well. The existing birch tree will need extra water, especially as it is surrounded by gravel. The theme of the garden, “Japan meets Okanagan”, includes a very water-thirsty Japanese maple. These trees generally do not do well in our heat and dry air. This one is getting extra water, is well mulched and a distance away from the hot reflective rocks so it may manage, but it would be happier in a shaded spot.

Achenbach Garden street view before the xeriscape project

Achenbach front door view #1 before the xeriscape project

Achenbach Garden street view after xeriscape

Street view soon after xeriscaping

Achenbach Garden front garden 4 years later

Garden view in the Fall, 4 years later.

Achenbach street view 4 years later

Street view, year four

Achenbach Garden front garden before the xeriscape project

Achenbach front garden before the xeriscape project.

Achenbach lawn and cedars being removed

Front garden lawn and cedar removal

Achenbach Garden soon after xeriscaping

Achenbach front garden before the xeriscape project.

Achenbach garden after planting

Garden plantings, beds mulched

The steps taken in the xeriscaping process were:

  • Landscape plan in place before work started
  • Cedars and lawn removed
  • Top layer of weeds removed and more weeding done before installation to reduce
    weeding maintenance
  • Excellent quality topsoil brought in
  • Low water, drought tolerant and low maintenance plants used
  • Drip irrigation installed with custom emitters to each plant for its particular water need
  • Tree with higher water need (Japanese maple) given extra irrigation emitters
  • Soil mulched with 3” of Ogogrow

Photo credits– Kathleen Achenbach


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