Xeriscaping – the practice of designing landscapes to reduce or eliminate the need for irrigation – will be discussed at the Jan. 26 meeting of the Sooke Garden Club. (File - Sooke News Mirror)

Xeriscaping – the practice of designing landscapes to reduce or eliminate the need for irrigation – will be discussed at the Jan. 26 meeting of the Sooke Garden Club. (File - Sooke News Mirror)

SOOKE GARDEN CLUB: Xeriscaping – gardening in a changing climate

How to reduce the need for water in your garden

Cory McInnis | Contributed

With the end of winter approaching, leaving behind the shorter days, cooler nights, and wetter conditions, it is somewhat hard to imagine the warm days of summer yet to arrive.

I remember most of July and August trying to minimize my watering, as the days grew hotter, my plants demanding attention sometimes multiple times a day, and my water bill reflected how much love those thirsty plants were given.

Turning on the tap is as habitual as brushing your teeth. We come to expect clean water at our disposal, not contemplating where it originates. Those that rely on well water may have another concern, will the well dry up, and if so, when?

The Sooke Garden Club’s guest Bernie Dinter will discuss xeriscaping – the practice of designing landscapes to reduce or eliminate the need for irrigation. With the summers becoming more protracted and hotter and water use becoming restricted, gardens can adapt to these conditions through plant selection and management.

Dinter grew up on the campus of Shawnigan Lake School. After graduation, he went to the University of B.C., earning a degree in plant science. Dinter’s father was a gardener from 1952 to 1972 on the campus of Shawnigan Lake School and began Dinter Nursery in 1973. Bernie joined the nursery full-time after graduation.

Dinter Nursery has supported gardeners in the Cowichan Valley for 48 years, drawing customers from all over Vancouver Island. Along with being a member of the Cowichan Valley Rhododendron Society, Bernie is also a member of the Duncan Rotary Club and B.C. Institute of Agrologists.

Sooke Garden club will be continuing with meetings and speakers through an online conference call. Members can join in on Jan. 26 at 7 p.m. The Sooke Garden Club has a Facebook page and a website, sookegardenclub.ca or email sookegc@gmail.com.

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