Dear Readers,

Yesterday JimJim and I headed out to Weber Basin’s Water open day.  They throw these twice a year; one in fall and one in spring.  You can go on tours to see how they make clean drinking water from the rain and snow which falls from the mountains (the chemist in me loves this kind of thing).  Weber Basin’s Water also has a Water Conservation Garden where you can learn about the water saving benefits of growing native species of plants and mulching to save water.

Weber Basin's Water Conservation Learning Garden

The open day’s are free to attend  with local vendors offering garden art, honey and plants for sale.  There are usually fun activities for kids, fall had a pumpkin decorating station with free pumpkins, spring had an inflatable slide.  There are usually freebies for you when you enter, we received a free drought tolerant plant, a reusable water bottle, lipbalm with SPF and sunscreen as well as a bag of ladybirds (ladybugs) to release into the gardens at home.

Ladybird, ladybird where have you been?

Ladybird, ladybird where have you been?

The walk around the different gardens was great and the weather held out until lat afternoon.  The gardens are split into native species, succulents, vegetables and inspiration for home backyards and with helpful signs by most of the plants so visitors are informed what the plant and cultivar is.

One of the most interesting displays shows how native grass roots form and grow in sandy soils.  The picture below doesn’t really show the roots formed in the loose soil, more my legs and JimJim’s feet.

Miscanthus Grass "Border Bandit"

Miscanthus Grass “Border Bandit”

The gardens were teeming with a variety of bees from the smaller honey bee to the large bumble bees which was encouraging to see given the pests, diseases and agricultural chemical use which these wonderful creatures must overcome.

Bumble bee at Weber Water Open DayBumble bee at Weber Water open day

Feeding from Palmer's Penstemon

Feeding from Palmer’s Penstemon

BushSage "Wild Thing"

BushSage “Wild Thing”

Parts of the garden were heavily scented by the wonderful Philadelphus or Mock Orange that they had planted.

Mock Orange "Cheyenne"

Mock Orange “Cheyenne”

Mock Orange "Cheyenne"

Mock Orange “Cheyenne”

There were some raised vegetable and herb gardens on display with drip water systems in place and we were pleasantly surprised to see that our gardens were much further along in the growing season than these were.

Kale, potato and carrots

Kale, potato and carrots

I love these sturdy wooden planters which are about knee height.

Basil and herb raised garden bed

Basil and herb raised garden bed

Kale and lettuce

Beans, peppers, kale and lettuce

Kale

Kale

Comfrey in raised herb garden

Comfrey in raised herb garden

Red cabbage

Red cabbage

Big Bertha bell pepper

Big Bertha bell pepper

Another red kale

Another red kale

Grasses, yarrow and pine grow together under a carpet of water saving mulch.

Moisture retaining and pretty

Moisture retaining and pretty

Yarrow close up

Yarrow close up

Use of ice plant or creeping Jenny as ground cover was also seen.

Creeping Jenny

Creeping Jenny

There was a lovely garden to the front of the building with a stream and planted with variegated Weigela, bird nesting boxes, strawberry underplantings and a wall- trained Asian Pear.

Weber Water open day Weber Water open day Weber Water open day

We can’t wait for the fall open day this year.