Flower show exhibit demonstrates how to ‘slow the flow’

Visitors to the RHS Tatton Flower Show (19-23 July) will see how the landscaping around their homes can play a vital role in preventing their communities from flooding, according to United Utilities which is sponsoring a special show garden at the event. The garden is intended to raise awareness of the problems that urban development can cause for public drainage systems.

The ‘Slow The Flow’ garden, by award-winning garden designer John Everiss, will demonstrate ideas for gardeners to manage rainwater and reduce their own impact on our drains and sewers.

Urban development has been a growing problem for many years, says UU. In the North West, the number of front gardens completely paved over increased from 4 percent in 2005 to 21 percent in 2015.

The loss of so much permeable ground is steadily increasing the risk of more flooding in our towns and cities.

And with back gardens also increasingly being built over with new extensions and conservatories, there’s a greater need than ever for homeowners to make small changes in how they use their green space.


The ‘Slow the flow’ garden taking shape.

Jo Harrison, Asset Management Director at United Utilities, said: “Anyone who has ever been through the trauma of sewage flooding into their home knows just how awful and devastating this issue is.

“We only have to walk around our towns and cities to witness the rapid urban development, and we all need to think creatively about how we can use our green space.

“If we all look to make small changes by creating gardens which slow the flow of rainfall into our sewer systems, this combined effect will have a massive benefit on reducing flood risk and pollution.”

Garden designer John Everiss explained that there are lots of ways to create a new parking space, patio or extension and still have an exciting and beautiful green space with a low impact on drainage.

“I’ve used a number of different techniques in the ‘Slow The Flow’ garden to help people see the possibilities.

“There are subterranean water storage channels, gabion walls using beautiful stone, permeable paving and a living green roof, to name a few ideas. People will see that the overall effect can be very stylish and modern.


The ‘Slow the Flow’ garden design.

“Our world is changing, we are seeing more extremes of weather with dry periods and torrential rain. Why fight against that when you can design your outdoor space to make the most of these variable conditions? Your plants and wildlife will thank you for it, as well as your neighbours downstream.”

Visitors to the flower show will have the opportunity to discuss the garden with representatives from United Utilities.

The RHS Tatton Flower Show is open to the general public from 19 – 23 July.

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