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A 'water-wise' flower show

25 May 2012

Two water and climate change conscious gardens medalled at the Chelsea Flower Show

The 'Climate Calm' garden won bronze, and the 'Naturally Dry' garden won silver in this year's Chelsea Flower Show.

Four water companies in the water-stressed South East teamed up at the 2012 RHS Chelsea Flower Show to produce 'Climate Calm' a garden of the future, able to cope with extremes of weather brought on by climate change. Those companies are Thames Water, Southern Water, South East Water and Sutton and East Surrey Water. 

Garden designer Nicholas Dexter drew inspiration from Persian irrigation techniques and the hardiness of plants used to harsh weather in the vast prairies and steppes of Eastern Europe to create the garden.

Darren Bentham, Director of Metering at Southern Water, said: “Chelsea Flower Show is a great opportunity to engage with gardeners about water use and innovative ways to keep our outdoor spaces green and flourishing in extreme dry and extreme wet weather, as we are currently experiencing.”

The silver medal went to Veolia Water's 'Naturally Dry' garden, designed by Vicky Harris Garden Design. The aim of the garden was to demonstrate that, by choosing plants that need little water, it is possible to have a beautiful garden during times of drought.

Richard Bienfait, Managing Director of Veolia Water Central said: “We are delighted to have a drought resistant garden at this year’s Chelsea Flower Show which has been created to inspire gardeners to make use of water efficient plants to ensure beautiful gardens can be achieved and sustained during times of drought." He went on to mention that all of the plants in the garden are available from most garden centres.

Our congratulations go to both garden teams, which ably demonstrate that beautiful, award-winning gardens need not be water-intensive - and in fact can even be drought tolerant.

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