By Mary Ridout

Summer gardening is always a balancing act when it comes to efficient and correct watering of flowers and vegetables. We can spend a great deal of time and thought on irrigation scheduling, application amounts, and what grows best in each part of a yard with highly variable drainage. What if you only needed to water your flowers four times in a year? No, we are not talking about tearing out the lawn in favor of river rock landscaping, we are talking about the ultimate xeriscape: a lush arrangement of drought tolerant varieties selected from Idaho native landscapes. Enter Dr. Stephen Love, Professor of Horticulture and Urban Landscapes. His front yard in Aberdeen ID showcases a collage of many flowering varieties collected from all over the state then grown out and selected for their aesthetic qualities at the Aberdeen Research and Extension center. His collection offers a spectacular year-round display—all with only four irrigation events a year! A new, exciting year of Master Gardener classes and events is just around the corner. We will have a chance to learn about and discuss xeriscape options for our own yards. We only need a little corner to celebrate some of the beautiful flowers that quietly brighten the natural landscapes of our state while conserving one of its greatest resources!


This article appears in the University of Idaho Extension Washington County Autumn Newsletter.  If you would like to learn more, please contact us at