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.

Although the sun was still shining on Wednesday and plants are still blooming in the garden, winter is nearly here.

It’s hard to imagine what it would be like to garden year round and not have the seasonal changes we enjoy.

Gwen SteeleIf you are considering converting part of your landscape to a water-wise garden, the Seven Principles of Xeriscape are an easy guide to success.

Xeriscape is gardening with nature.

I suggest when planning your garden, ask the question, ‘What would nature do?’

Pause and think about what you see in the natural environment here.

In particular, think about what nature does when a piece of land is bare as in after a fire.

She doesn’t dump a pile of rocks and gravel on the bare land.

She repopulates it with a diverse community of plants creating a balance between pests and beneficial insects, birds and animals.

Xeriscape is a method of gardening that can be used to create almost any style of garden.

When you come to selecting plants for your xeriscape, check out the plant database at okanaganxeriscape.org” www.okanaganxeriscape.org.

There are 23 search criteria to help you select the right plants for your conditions and the look you want to create.

For a plant fix to brighten a gloomy winter day, browse through the database and look at the large colour photos with each plant profile.

If you are looking for a gift for a special gardener in your life, the Okanagan Xeriscape Association has a new shipment of my favourite xeriscape reference book, Creating the Prairie Xeriscape by Sara Williams.

Williams’ book is perfect for the Okanagan and all the plants are hardy for our climate.

There are close to 900 species in the plant profiles section, with many photos and good descriptions.

Additionally, there are very useful plant tables making it easy to find the plants that suit your conditions.

After 25 years of researching xeriscape, I have found this book to be the best reference.

It has the clearest, easy to follow explanation of the Seven Principles of Xeriscape. Also there are sidebars of quick facts for easy reference.

Williams is an award winning horticulturist who has been gardening for more than 25 years on five acres of sand near Saskatoon—good, practical experience for writing the book.

Cost is $34.95 including tax.

Another idea is a gift certificate for my two night Introduction To Xeriscape class.

Classes will be scheduled in March through to early May.

For more information check the classes page at okanaganxeriscape.org.

Registration cost is $50/person or $90/couple.

A handmade photo card of a flower from the unH2O Garden will be included with the certificate.

Contact me at info@okanaganxeriscape.org for books or gift certificate.

This is my last column until March.

I wish you a pleasant winter and look forward to reconnecting next year.

Just Posted

Kelowna examines options to connect Rutland with rail trail

Public feedback on the four options is available online until May 6

Robot caretakers could be in your future

Interior Health CEO says AI will revolutionalize medical care

Love of records enduring for Kelowna vinyl fan

John Gowland’s record collection dates back to 1950s

Kelowna walk sheds light on blood cancer darkness

The Light The Night Walk takes Saturday, April 21, from Waterfront Park

Wanted man nabbed after flipping car in Kelowna

A wanted man is now facing charges

Kelowna properties flooded along Heimlich Road

Flooding started on Spiers Road Tuesday and continued into properties, said an area resident

4-20: Pot activists continue their fight beyond legalization

Cannabis activists say there is still a lot to fight for beyond legalization

Comey memos: Trump talks of jailed journalists and ‘hookers’

A 15 page document written by former FBI Director James Comey about dealings with Trump is released to press

UPDATED: Prince Charles to be next Commonwealth leader

Prince Charles to succeed his mother Queen Elizabeth II as head of the 53-nation alliance

U.S. team wins BC Hockey League championship for first time in 39 years

B.C. players help the Wenatchee Wild defeat Prince George in best-of-seven series

Woman sentenced to life in Valentine’s Day shooting plot at Halifax mall

An American woman has been sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for a decade

More snow on B.C. highways this weekend

Forecast says … winter is taking its time.

Locals play their part in Cirque’s Crystal in Penticton

It’s no easy task when it comes to unloading 17 semis full of equipment

Countdown is on to the 2018 B.C. Summer Games

Cowichan Valley hosts on July 19-22

Most Read