Happy New Year with Xeriscaping

Happy New Year Everyone!

On this very snowy January 1st, after you’ve shovelled your walk, and perhaps your neighbour’s too, why not kick back with a cup of coffee/tea/nog, grab a nearby gardening book, and settle in for a nice day’s read.

What sort of book will you choose? The latest gardening magazine? The seed catalogues that might be piling up around you? Perhaps you’ll delve into permaculture, explore cottage gardens, or plan to graft a franken-apple tree (please do this!)

One subject that’s captured my interest over the past few years is xeriscaping (using plants that, once established, will thrive with little to no added water beyond what nature provides).

Usually when talking about xeriscaping, we’re quick to reassure people that we don’t mean a moonscape of rocks & cacti but I’ve gotta admit, over the last few months, those cacti have been calling my name!

Over the next few weeks, let’s explore some of the hardy cacti & succulents that excel in Calgary’s climate. I think you’ll be surprised at the variety and number of plants to choose from, as well as their inherent beauty. We’ll discuss where to put them, how to keep them happy, and what benefits they’ll bring to the garden.

Here’s a series of little-known tidbits:

1) roses have prickles – not thorns – and they’re modified stem tissue
2) thorns are modified branches, like on a Hawthorn tree
3) spines are modified leaves, as seen on Barberry or Cacti