An established native plant garden can drastically reduce or even eliminate the need to water your garden. Not only do native plants require very little water, many native plants are decorative and attract wildlife such as hummingbirds, butterflies, beneficial insects and bees that help pollinate your garden. Native plant gardens also attract vertebrates such as birds, frogs, snakes, bats, mice, moles and squirrels, which snack on the eggs, larvae, pupae and adult insects, mites and slugs that could otherwise harm your plants. Attracting these critters to your yard can help reduce the need for pesticides, which can leach through the soil into our precious waterways and possibly into the food you and your children eat!
A great way to get started with low irrigation gardening is to attend an Efficient Irrigation Workshop held by the CRD on August 20. Sponsored by Glendale Gardens, this workshop will give you buckets of information on how to cut your water use while taking great care of your plants. Visit the CRD website for more information.
There are also a whole host of interesting gardening workshops happening at the Greater Victoria Compost Education Centre (GVCEC) this fall. Check them out to learn more about seed saving, growing mushrooms and garlic and inviting Mason bees into your garden.
Image courtesy of Lotus Johnson.