Urban rain to make a splash at RHS Hampton

Squires Garden Centres and Landform Consultants have joined forces to present a stunning, contemporary garden at this year’s Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Hampton Court Palace Flower Show, which takes place from 3rd to 9th July, 2017.

The Urban Garden‘ designed by Rhiannon Williams, is designed to cope with climate change and in particular the heavy downpours that we are experiencing in England, which can cause flash flooding and problems with drainage.

The garden incorporates clever rainwater management techniques, so all the rainwater and run-off from the house is redirected, stored and used within the garden.

One of the unusual features of the design is that there is both a front and back garden with a walkway in-between. This will give visitors a very interactive feel. The front garden will include a space for a compact car to park over a metal grate below which is a storm water retention pond. The back garden will be familiar to visitors as it depicts elements found in many residential gardens including a patio, lawn and an entertaining area.

Rhiannon, (pictured left) who is just 23 years old, explains that her inspiration for the show garden came from her Masters studies at the University of Sheffield, where she was taught by Nigel Dunnett, a world authority on rain gardens: “I’ve always been keen to design spaces that are not only beautiful but functional as well, and The Urban Rain Garden embodies this, but also more importantly it demonstrates an easy way to adopt a more sustainable approach when it comes to rain water management,” Rhiannon said.

Nigel Dunnett, Professor of Planting Design & Urban Horticulture at the University of Sheffield said he is delighted that Rhiannon is taking on her first major show garden: “I think that her design is inspired and will truly capture the public’s imagination. There are many elements that can be adopted for our own spaces and some of the solutions that she offers to cope with our changing climates are truly innovative.”

Deputy chairman at Squires, Sarah Squire, likes the fact that the garden is both an affordable and sustainable design: “Planting is zoned to deal with varying water levels within the garden,” she said. “Very wet areas contain plants like Irises down to dry zones at the end of the garden containing plants like Salvia, Achillea and Ornamental grasses.”

The ‘Urban Rain Garden‘ is in the new RHS Category ‘Gardens for a changing world‘ reflecting the more sustainable direction that gardening is taking worldwide.

Garden graphics and photograph ©Squires/R.Williams