Opened in 2008, the Western Waterwise Garden is located between the Gathering Place and the Wetlands in the Lewis and Clark Native Plant Garden. This Garden demonstrates how western native plants and their hybridized offspring (aka cultivars) can be attractively incorporated into the home landscape. This particular space is a natural fit for this garden, located in the middle of the Lewis and Clark Garden, where visitors will have already been introduced to the world of native plants.
Selection criteria for incorporation into the Western Waterwise Garden required that a species originated in one of the western states traversed by the Corps of Discovery Expedition (Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington), or in Wyoming, Colorado, Utah or Nevada. Ultimately, about two-thirds of the species or the parent we chose from were also collected or described during the Lewis and Clark expedition.
The Western Waterwise Garden was also designed to inspire homeowners to incorporate water conserving plants into their own gardens. With concerns over excessive resource consumption on the minds of everyone these days, IBG believes it is important to educate and lead by example whenever possible. Consequently, many of the species selected for this garden are drought tolerant. The rock mulch we have chosen also assists with moisture retention and weed control while accenting the natural beauty of the plants.
Benefits to wildlife were also a consideration, as we sought to incorporate plants that require less fertilizer and pesticide, and which potentially offer a food source for insect pollinators and birds. To see a complete list of what this garden contains, click HERE.
The next time you are at IBG, don’t forget to take a hike “up the hill” beyond the cool shade of the Meditation Garden and see what we have to offer out in the bright sunshine. Peak flowering for the Western Waterwise Garden is May through September.