Gillian Flower, ND
Watering is one of my least favourite garden chores. In the heat of summer, it is an interminable task, requiring hours of dedication and returning nothing but a day's reprieve from the constant threat of desertification.
Watering is one of my least favourite garden chores. In the heat of summer, it is an interminable task, requiring hours of dedication and returning nothing but a day’s reprieve from the constant threat of desertification. When tending a vegetable garden, watering is a necessary evil. When planning an ornamental garden, however, selecting the right plants can save you hours of watering. Nurture Natives For the gardener who appreciates simplicity, beauty, and free time, native plants are an obvious choice. As a part of the natural ecosystem, they are more resistant to local pests than imported species, and are attractive to beneficial visitors such as butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds. Natives–favourites among water-conscious gardeners–content themselves with the amount of water that Mother Nature delivers, unlike those exotic prima donnas that require constant irrigation. These seasoned locals practically take care of themselves once they have taken root in your garden. As you enrich the community of plants around your home this year, consider what your climate can provide naturally–and go with the flow. Choosing plants that are already a part of your local ecosystem will let you put down the hose a little sooner so that you can get out there and enjoy your garden. Flowering Favourites Water-wise native plants will be star performers in your garden.
Gorgeous Grasses Native grasses provide the water-saving gardener with some eye-catching options. Revitalize the sun-baked hot spots in your garden with undulating wisps of ornamental grasses.
Resources If you need help incorporating native plants into your landscape, check out the Evergreen Native Plant Database (evergreen.ca). This valuable resource contains pictures, descriptions, and growing conditions for over 5,000 native plants found across the country.