Making every drop count

January 26, 2011

A sustainable “rain garden” designed to capture every drop of water that falls onto it has been unveiled as one of the leading attractions at the 2011 Chelsea Flower Show.

Working on the project is Newcastle University graduate Ed Payne together with his colleagues at The Landscape Agency.  Sponsored by the Royal Bank of Canada, the New Wild will be RHS Chelsea’s first full-scale rain garden.

The project team – led by award-winning landscape designer Dr Nigel Dunnett – have based their design on the new Rain Garden they developed last year for the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust (WWT) London Wetland Centre.

Drawing on the ideals of Victorian horticulturist William Robinson – a pioneer of modern gardening and an advocate of the principles of sustainable gardening – Ed said one of the key aims of the design was to highlight the importance of not wasting our most precious resource; .

“We’ve designed the garden in such a way as to capture and use every single drop of rain that falls onto it,” explains the former Newcastle University biology student.

“From the living roof on the building, through to the collecting pools below and the soakaway planting area, the garden brings water to life, making the garden water-cycle visible, and retaining water that would otherwise be lost.”

Placing sustainability at the heart of the project, the garden will also include a recycled shipping container to create a novel office space and a deck constructed from timber reclaimed from sea defences on Southend sea front.

“Everything in the garden is recycled, reclaimed or re-used to create a system that is totally sustainable,” says Ed. “It’s an ethos which we place at the heart of all our projects – looking at how new technologies and materials can be used to restore and revive areas in a way that enhances and benefits the environment.”

Lynn Patterson, Director of Corporate Responsibility at RBC, added: “The team has conceived a design that is hugely innovative and immensely relevant to 21st-century city living.

“The sustainability message, which is at the heart of the RBC New Wild Garden’s design, aligns perfectly with our ongoing commitment to water preservation through our RBC Blue Water Project.”

Explore further: CSIRO 'hot rods' old telescope

Related Stories

CSIRO 'hot rods' old telescope

October 13, 2010

CSIRO has helped transform the University of Sydney's radio telescope into a world-class instrument, and along the way has learned lessons for its own ASKAP (Australian SKA Pathfinder) telescope.

Modern society made up of all types

November 4, 2010

Modern society has an intense interest in classifying people into ‘types’, according to a University of Melbourne Cultural Historian, leading to potentially catastrophic life-changing outcomes for those typed – ...

Recommended for you

Genomes uncover life's early history

August 24, 2015

A University of Manchester scientist is part of a team which has carried out one of the biggest ever analyses of genomes on life of all forms.

Rare nautilus sighted for the first time in three decades

August 25, 2015

In early August, biologist Peter Ward returned from the South Pacific with news that he encountered an old friend, one he hadn't seen in over three decades. The University of Washington professor had seen what he considers ...

Why a mutant rice called Big Grain1 yields such big grains

August 24, 2015

(Phys.org)—Rice is one of the most important staple crops grown by humans—very possibly the most important in history. With 4.3 billion inhabitants, Asia is home to 60 percent of the world's population, so it's unsurprising ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.