Gwen Steele

Silken strands attached to milkweed seeds.

Steele: Seasonal changes make gardening a delight

I always look forward to the quieter time of reading and making plans for next gardening season.

Silken strands attached to milkweed seeds.
Vegetables growing in homemade 'lasagne garden' compost.

Steele: Build a ‘lasagne garden’ by layering compost materials

Although most often made to create a vegetable bed, the lasagne garden can be used to grow almost anything.

Vegetables growing in homemade 'lasagne garden' compost.
Sedum ‘Autumn Fire

Steele: Colourful, fall blooming xeriscape plants at H2O

While autumn officially began Sept. 22, with any luck we will have another month to enjoy fall colours in the garden.

Sedum ‘Autumn Fire
Ornamental grasses are easy-care

Steele: Lawn alternative fends off deer

Many gardeners in the Okanagan have visits from deer, often with distressing results when prize plants become tasty forage.

Ornamental grasses are easy-care
Dwarf burning bush (Euonymous alatus ‘Compactus’)

Steele: Replace lawn with shrubbery

An interesting ‘secret garden’ can be made with meandering pathways through large shrubs and small trees to a secluded sitting area.

Dwarf burning bush (Euonymous alatus ‘Compactus’)
Late in May a fragrant Mock Orange shrub (Philadelphus lewisii) blooms in the unH2O Xeriscape Garden. Yellow brown-eyed susans (Gaillardia aristata) and blue showy asters (Aster conspicuus) will continue blooming until late fall.

Steele: Replace your lawn with Okanagan native plants

Find areas in the wild that have similar conditions to your garden and see what is growing there.

Late in May a fragrant Mock Orange shrub (Philadelphus lewisii) blooms in the unH2O Xeriscape Garden. Yellow brown-eyed susans (Gaillardia aristata) and blue showy asters (Aster conspicuus) will continue blooming until late fall.
June-blooming blue grama grass looks attractive in a flower bed. It also makes an excellent

Steele: Alternatives to a grass garden

For fast-draining, sandy soil, adding organic matter is important to increase nutrients and retain moisture.

June-blooming blue grama grass looks attractive in a flower bed. It also makes an excellent
Gwen Steele

Steele: Summerland research farm/gardens celebrate centennial

The Okanagan celebration was modelled on the historic farm picnics which happened annually from the 1920s to the 1950s.

Gwen Steele
In keeping with the times

Steele: Centennial celebration for Summerland Ornamental Gardens

Capital News columnist says ornamental gardens hold a special place in her life.

In keeping with the times
Sedums and sempervivums (hens and chicks)

Steele: Learn to be more water-wise, in Kelowna

A few easy maintenance tips will give you optimum performance from your water-wise plants.

Sedums and sempervivums (hens and chicks)
Wayne Goreski's front yard

Steele: Happy xeriscape garden convert

"I sold my lawn mower and weed eater. I disconnected the irrigation system…and all the rest is reduced flow or drip irrigated."

Wayne Goreski's front yard
‘Ivory Queen’ Turkestan onion (Allium karataviense) has beautiful

Steele: Very drought tolerant garden bulbs

Ornamental onions are excellent water-wise, deer-proof plants says Capital News gardening columnist Gwen Steele.

‘Ivory Queen’ Turkestan onion (Allium karataviense) has beautiful
Mulched with GlenGrow

Steele: Mulch helps gardeners conserve water

Mulch acts as a blanket, holding in moisture and reducing weed growth. It prevents a hard crust from forming on the soil surface.

Mulched with GlenGrow
Eriophyllum lanatum (common woolly sunflower) is in the Okanagan Xeriscape Association plant database. It attracts pollinators

Steele: Website offers plant options

Use the Okanagan Xeriscape Association plant database at okanaganxeriscape.org.

Eriophyllum lanatum (common woolly sunflower) is in the Okanagan Xeriscape Association plant database. It attracts pollinators
Lavender blooms in June and late August accompanied by summer-long blooms of Coreopsis ‘Golden Gain. Delospermum cooperi has fuchsia pink flowers from June to frost in the Mediterranean Garden at the unH2O Xeriscape Garden.

Steele: Library to host free xeriscape forum

Amazingly, there were already about 35 plant species blooming around Kelowna and in the Okanagan.

Lavender blooms in June and late August accompanied by summer-long blooms of Coreopsis ‘Golden Gain. Delospermum cooperi has fuchsia pink flowers from June to frost in the Mediterranean Garden at the unH2O Xeriscape Garden.
Alpine Marguerite daisy and Russian stonecrop blooming beneath the Make Water Work sign in the unH2O Rock Garden.

Steele: Gardening tips offered at unH2O gardens May 17

Learn attributes of plants that are in bloom in the five theme gardens and a few tips on plant maintenance.

Alpine Marguerite daisy and Russian stonecrop blooming beneath the Make Water Work sign in the unH2O Rock Garden.

Steele: Some timely tips for putting plants in the ground

The following is information I put together years ago for my nursery customers and now use for my classes.

Okanagan sunflowers are abundant on the hillsides.

Steele: Enjoying Okanagan’s natural beauty

April 22 is Earth Day, a perfect time in Kelowna to reflect on how best we can be stewards of this land for future generations.

Okanagan sunflowers are abundant on the hillsides.
Rudbeckia ‘Goldsturm’

Steele: Planting ornamental grasses

This week is about ornamental grasses and long-blooming, pollinator plants.

Rudbeckia ‘Goldsturm’
Healthy specimen of blue fescue grass

Steele: Adapting to water restrictions

Water restrictions are likely to be the norm every summer from now on.

Healthy specimen of blue fescue grass