Today’s photos are from Cherry Ong’s recent visit to Butchart Gardens in British Columbia, Canada. You’ve probably seen photos of parts of the garden, but Cherry is treating us to a look at some less visited (but no less beautiful) areas of the garden. She writes:
These photos are from the Mediterranean Garden, which is sadly found adjacent to the parking lot and not frequented by the hordes like the Sunken Garden or Italian Garden. The description of the garden on the brochure reads: “A celebration of our mild climate, this unusual garden features many drought resistant plants from various areas of the world that share similar growing conditions to ours.”
Mediterranean-type climates are found in only a few places in the world: around the Mediterranean Sea (obviously), central Chile, western South Africa, southwestern Australia, and the west coast of North America. These climates are typified by dry summers and wet winters, and a distinctive set of plants thrives in those conditions. Sitting at the edge of the North American zone of Mediterranean climates, British Columbia is a natural place to celebrate the unique plants and gardens of this climate type.
This beautiful planting of tropical plants features the dramatic Sarian elephant ear (Alocasia ‘Sarian’, Zones 9–11).
Closeup of Alocasia ‘Sarian’
Agaves are native to the arid American West, but they adapt well to milder climates such as in British Columbia.
Planting for drought tolerance doesn’t have to be boring! Just keep your distance, as these agaves and prickly pears (Opuntia spp.) can do some damage. The good thing about that is that deer and rabbits leave them alone.
Yuccas are another classic plant for dry climates. By featuring different species and cultivars, this planting gets a lot of interest out of just yuccas.
Echeveria (Echeveria sp., Zones 10–11) have boomed in popularity in recent years, but usually as houseplants or in containers. They look amazing planted out en masse like this. If you want to make a planting like this in a climate with cold winter, remember that tender succulents can easily be planted outside in the summer, then brought in to a sunny windowsill for the winter before being used again the next year.
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