Landscaping In The Okanagan
Did you know that landscape irrigation for the average Kelowna home accounts for 55% of the city’s total yearly water use? Or that we use over 72 million liters of water on our lawns and gardens during the summer? We can reduce this by designing our landscapes with water conservation in mind; leaving more water in Okanagan Lake, aquifers, and streams, and also benefiting the ecosystems that rely on it.
When building our Kelowna custom homes, we suggest that homeowners consider xeriscaping, a form of landscaping that works with our environmental conditions. These native species are a key part of planting as they thrive in our climate and over time, they will require less water as they adapt and draw moisture from the ground. Xeriscaping also limits the amount of time spent trimming, weeding, and mowing, and is healthier for the environment as pesticide and herbicide use is eliminated.
Another thing to consider when working on your landscape design is shade for your home. Planting deciduous trees on your property can offer shading for the summertime to help save on cooling costs, while allowing solar heat in during the autumn and winter months once the leaves have fallen.
If you are handling your own landscaping, we recommend that you keep in mind where the plants were seeded and grown before you purchase them. For example, a cedar tree that has been growing in the Lower Mainland will struggle here in the Okanagan due to our hot and dry climate. Lastly, determine whether your plants and trees are resistant to animals. Over the years, we have moved more into a wildlife environment, with local wildlife such as deer becoming a landscape nemesis.
Your landscaping can do more for you than just look good! Be sure to do your homework or hire a professional that can keep you on track and point you in the right direction. For more information on designing your landscape in the Okanagan, check out these tips from the City of Kelowna.