WaterWise Garden Layouts

waterwise garden layout: natural

WaterWise Garden Layouts.

In our previous articles on Xeriscaping and How to Spot a Drought Tolerant Plant, we promised that we would provide you with some actual garden plans to create your very own beautiful WaterWise Garden.

So here they are:

  1. The NATURAL WaterWise Garden Layout:


This garden layout flows in a relaxed and seemingly natural progression that leads you through discovering new vistas at every turn. Although the layout is easy on the eye and easy on water usage, as you can see it does take careful planning and design to achieve this ‘effortless’ natural garden look.

2. The  ENGLISH INFORMAL WaterWise Garden Layout:
The English Informal Waterwise Garden Layout

The English Informal Garden layout is more structured than the Natural layout, but still provides a lovely balance between structure and informality, making it a relaxing, calm space.


3. The FORMAL WaterWise Garden Layout:

 The FORMAL WaterWise Garden Layout:
The Formal Garden Layout is, as its name suggests, a more structured and symmetrical design giving the feeling of calm orderliness where everything is in it’s place and there’s a place for everything.  If you like your landscapes to feel completely balanced and want to add a little formality to complement the architecture and atmosphere of your home, then this design will work well for you.

To help you even further with planning your own unique WaterWise garden layout, we’ve included a comprehensive list of typical Xeriscaping plants together with their hardiness zones. Click here to access them: XeriscapePlantList

If you need some advice or help with planning and planting your WaterWise Garden, please reach out to us by phone at 604 856 9339, or by email here, or come in and chat with us – here are the directions.

How to Spot a Drought Tolerant Plant

lavender is a drought tolerant plant

How do you spot a drought tolerant plant at your local garden center?

xeriscapingWith the way our summer has been going so far, many would wonder why anyone would even be concerned about planting something that doesn’t need a lot of watering.  After all, it’s been cool and a lot more rainy than we like summer to be.  However, when we’re planting, we can’t plant just for the weather this year. We have to plant for the ‘worst case scenario’ upcoming seasons.

The interesting thing about drought tolerant plants is that they have certain traits which make them easier to spot.

  • Colour: they will have grey, silver or white foliage.  At least that’s how it appears to the eye.  In fact, they are green, but they are covered with a lot of hairs which makes them look much lighter.
  • Hairy Leaves: this helps protect the plant from sun and wind exposure and minimizes moisture loss. They reflect sun and heat and the hairs trap moisture from early morning dew.
  • Lots of tiny leaves: these small leaves also help minimize moisture loss. Examples are thyme and aubretia.
  • Deeply lobed leaves: these serve the same purpose. An example is Acanthus Spinosus.
  • Leaves that hug the ground: these plants stay close to the moisture in the ground and keep a low profile out of the drying wind. Their leaves are usually also tiny.  Examples are Creeping Phlox, Thyme and Gazania.
  • Highly resinous or aromatic leaves: oils in the leaves are volatile. When it’s hot, they generate a protective haze around the plant that helps retain its moisture, preventing it from drying out. Examples are: Lavender, Rosemary, Hyssop and Pine.
  • Succulent leaves: deeply fleshy leaves store water enabling the plant to avoid drying out even when no water is available for long periods of time. Their pores open at night and close during the day. These plants don’t like to be watered too much. Examples are Sedums and Rock Purslane.
  • Bulbs, Corms and other fleshy root structures: these plants store moisture in their roots which helps them withstand drought. Examples are Daylily, Peony, Liriope and Kniphofia.
  • Summer dormant: many spring ephemerals and grasses use this mechanism to protect against hot, dry summers. Grasses will sprout quickly in spring, put down deep roots, go dormant in summer, then go green again in cooler, wet weather.  Examples are lawns and Spring Anemones.
  • Deep Tap Root: these plants develop roots that can extend deep into the soil searching for water. Examples are carrots, Dandelions, Yucca and Poppies.
  • Rhizomes and deep spreading root systems: Examples are Arctic Willow, some trees, Sea Lavender and Heuchera.
  • Thorns and Thistles: these appendages are tools that the plants use to capture and store moisture. Examples are Roses and Cotoneaster.

drought tolerant plantMany plants have developed one or more of the above mechanisms to help them survive and thrive in adverse weather conditions. The amazing thing is that not only are many of these plants great survivors, they’re also beautiful. Take some lavenders for example. They have small, silver, aromatic leaves. Thyme is another example. It also has small, aromatic leaves and the stem hugs the ground.

Stay tuned for our sketches of water wise garden layouts!

Hot Summer Nights on the Patio

Tuscan night at Brambles Bistro

We’re celebrating summer with a series of Thursday night dinners on the Brambles Bistro Patio!

It’s the most mid-week summer fun ever!  Our patio is going international every week (except the week of August 15th) from the end of July till the end of August.  It’s the ideal ‘date night’, ‘friends night’, ‘take yourself out night’ and it’s only for a short time.  So spoil yourself and someone special while it lasts!

Please call us at 604 856 9339 to reserve a table!
Click here
to check the menus

Tuscany Night – July 27th – 5 – 8pm


Tuscan night at Brambles Bistro

Enjoy the flavors of Tuscany while you enjoy the ambience of a warm summer’s night surrounded by the beautiful serenity of Tanglebank Gardens.


Burgers & Brew – August 4th – 5 – 8pm

burgersandbrew night at Brambles BistroIt’s hearty, wholesome and keepin’ it real as you enjoy the best gourmet burgers and brew craft you’ve ever tasted!




Mexican Night – August 11th – 5 – 8pm

mexican-night at Brambles BistroIt’s a fiesta!  Feisty and spicy – it’s the whole enchilada right here in Abbotsford.  You’ll swear you’re in Mexico with the festive atmosphere and the fragrance of flowers in the air.




Thai Night – August 25th – 5 – 8pm

thai-night at Brambles BistroSoft summer breezes. That tropical laid back feeling. Smiling servers and deliciously exotic Thai delicacies… You’ll feel as if you’ve gone on vacation. Sit back, relax and enjoy!

5 Reasons To Bring the Outdoors Into Your Home.

bring the outdoors into your home

Most people would agree that plants are a great addition to your home and to your office space. Besides being great decor, they enhance wellness.

bring the outdoors in

Here are 5 positives plants bring to your day:

You’ll Breathe Cleaner Air: Plants remove toxins from the air and mitigate sick building syndrome.  Off-gassing by furniture, floor coverings and construction components is a fact of life. Plants help remove these leaving your environment healthier. Studies have shown that there are up to 60% less airborne molds and bacteria in a plant filled room.

You’ll Be Happier:
– Lowers stress by 37%
– Lowers depression by 58%
– Lowers anger / hostility by 44%
– Lowers fatigue by 38%

Nature has a calming and rejuvenating effect on humans. If you can’t spend your days (and nights) outside surrounded by nature, bringing the outdoors inside will help.  Even surrounding yourself with nature pictures will have a positive impact on your psyche, but as it’s so easy to incorporate living plants in your home and work space, why settle for anything less than the real thing?

You’ll Get More Done:
A plant filled environment increases productivity by 12%: In a study done  by Dr. Virginia Lohr, participants who worked in an environment with plants were 12% more productive than those who worked in an environment without plants. This study is one of many that have shown similar results.

You’ll Be More Comfortable Inside:
Incorporating plants in indoor environments helps keep it more comfortable and lowers your costs. Plants keep the humidity range within the human comfort level of between 30% and 60%. They also help cool the temperature when it’s hot outside. Both these factors mean that there is less building maintenance as there’s less structural damage due to temperature and humidity fluctuations as well as less need to artificially control the indoor climate.

You’ll Be More Successful:
A study at the Royal Agricultural College in Cirencester in the U.K. determined that inattentiveness was reduced by 70% in rooms with plants and that students were more likely to achieve better academic results than those attending classes in lecture halls without plants.

If you have green thumbs, no doubt you’ll already have a few favorite indoor plants helping green your home and your work space.  If not, you’ve probably thought about using plants but felt that it might be too difficult to look after them.

SucculentsHere are 7 of our top picks for easy to grow plants that thrive in a variety of indoor conditions without much maintenance.

– Aloe
– Spider plants
– Cactus
– Ivy
– Rubber plants
– Peace Lily

If you’d like to know more about the benefits of incorporating plants in your home and office be sure to come in and chat with us!

More reading on this topic: