The Water Smart Ambassador for the Regional District of Central Kootenay, Geneviève Bergeron, has been busy throughout the summer showcasing the recently developed Xeriscape Demonstration Garden located in Crescent Valley Beach Regional Park a few kilometers north of the Highway 3A/6 Junction in the Slocan Valley.
Bergeron said this is the first public demonstration garden in the RDCK region that does not have, nor require any ongoing irrigation.
Construction of the garden commenced in May 2019, and 12 different thematic gardens are now blooming and well established in the garden.
Bergeron said the garden features three differing lawn alternatives, bulb garden, native flowers, pollinator garden, medicinal shrubs and flowers, edible garden, ornamental grasses, Mediterranean garden, ornamentals and an ocean inspired rock garden.
“Xeriscaping is a landscaping with water conservation as the guiding principle,” Bergeron said in an emailed statement.
“In short, xeriscaping is the use of native, drought tolerant plants. Xeriscaping theory involves seven principles that allow us to continue enjoying our outdoor spaces while using less water.”
Bergeron said the seven principles include planning and design, soil preparation, practical turf areas, selection of appropriate plants, mulching, efficient irrigation and maintenance.
“Using this method allows us to create eco-friendly landscapes that reduce water consumption and promote climate resilience,” Bergeron explained, adding that during the growing season and warm months, water use can increase by as much as 200%.
“It is also important to mention that xeriscaping does not promote fertilizing lawns or plants in excess, due to the fact that fertilizers encourage rapid growth which demands more water.”
Bergeron said residents on any of the participating systems — Balfour, Duhamel, Grandview Properties, McDonald Creek, South Slocan, Woodland Heights, Woodbury Village, West Robson or Ymir — can book a xeriscaping assessment with the Water Smart Ambassador and discuss ways to apply and implement xeriscaping principles in your own yards by going to the RDCK website.
Bergeron said the Xersicape Demonstration Garden at Crescent Valley was constructed on a barren hill.
In this season alone, the garden has attracted bees, hummingbirds, all kinds of butterflies, Western blue tailed skinks, many insects, and diverse birds have been observed and have since made the garden part of their home.
“During the planning of the garden, a majority of plants selected were “deer resistant” so as to ensure success and longevity,” Bergeron said.
“The garden has helped in the ecological restoration of the park and has increased the area for wildlife habitat while providing valuable teaching moments. It will be interesting to see the garden fill in and develop over time and hopefully people will continue to visit it as time goes on to see those changes.”
Bergeron encourages the public to view the Xersicape Demonstration Garden at Crescent Valley Beach (1271 Highway 6) and have a stroll and see what their favorite plants are.
Bergeron, the Water Smart Ambassador, will give guided on Thursday, August 22 from 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Just some of the many flowers flourishing in the Xeriscape Demonstration Garden located in Crescent Valley Beach Regional Park a few kilometers north of the Highway 3A/6 Junction in the Slocan Valley. — Submitted photo
No water, and surviving the hot summer in the Slocan Valley. — Submitted photo
A view from the parking lot at Crescent Valley Beach Regional Park. — Submitted photo