Kelowna’s UnH2O gardens is one of several places to find WaterWise ideas for your Okanagan yard.

Kelowna’s UnH2O gardens is one of several places to find WaterWise ideas for your Okanagan yard.

MAKE WATER WORK: Plan next year’s yard now

Take a look at some of the gardens and yards of the Okanaga

Now is a great time to start thinking about what you would like your yard to look like next year.

Take a look at some of the gardens and yards of the Okanagan – planted with native or drought-tolerant planstings – and see what is doing well, despite summer’s heat and lack of moisture.

There are a growing number of examples of low-water gardens in the Okanagan to learn from.

In the North Okanagan, there is the Xerindipity Garden next to Okanagan Science Centre. There is another at Allan Brooks Nature Centre.

And the newest is at Okanagan College’s Vernon campus, which includes examples of rain gardens and various rainwater capture techniques from our Slow it. Spread it. Sink it. Okanagan Homeowner’s Guide (www.okwaterwise.ca/pdf/HomeDrainageGuide_Okanagan.pdf).

In the Central Okanagan, there is the Okanagan Xeriscape Association’s UnH2O garden in front of the H2O fitness centre on Gordon Drive and it includes various garden types (e.g native, Mediterranean, butterfly).

The lawn in front of the centre has also been replanted with drought-tolerant turf.

In the South Okanagan, you have several choices.

Summerland Ornamental Gardens has an amazing xeriscape garden and is conducting extensive research on water conservation techniques appropriate to the Okanagan. Okanagan College in Penticton has a native plant garden for touring. Also, check out Grasslands Nursery which showcases native and low-water gardens.

The right plants can not only conserve water, but save you time and money.

The Okanagan Valley is home to many species of native plants well adapted to our semi-arid climate, natural soil and rainfall conditions.

There are also a growing number of low-water plants and turf varieties available, that require far less water to survive and thrive than more traditional water-thirsty landscapes.

And by choosing plants suitable to our dry climate, you can save more than just water.

You also save time on maintenance, as well as money on yard-care products.

Of course, they’ll also attract local birds and insects, adding to the beauty of your yard.

Learn more at www.makewaterwork.ca. Make Water Work is an initiative of the Okanagan Basin Water Board and its Okanagan WaterWise program.