A ‘dry’ garden has been unveiled at a leading flower show to illustrate how gardeners can help save water.
The Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, joined forces with the Environment Agency, Thames Water and the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) to exhibit the garden, which is made up of plants, fruits and vegetables which thrive in drier conditions.
The ‘sunshine’ garden, which will be on display at the Hampton Court Palace Flower Show, incorporates water butts.
Mr Livingstone said: ‘Water is a precious resource that we cannot afford to take for granted and one way for Londoners to help preserve water and reduce climate change is to avoid wasting water in the garden.
‘I would encourage London’s gardeners to follow a few simple steps which can make a big difference. The key to keeping gardens’ water needs met lies in using plants that need little water.’
Paul Stone, who designed the garden, said: ‘We all want to keep our gardens beautiful and productive. If we are prepared to accept change, we can support the environment at the same time.’
London and the South East is suffering a 17-month long drought which has seen hosepipes banned and urgent calls for people to do more to conserve water.
Other gardens at the show will raise awareness of an HIV/AIDS education project for young people in Jamaica.
Pippa Hichens, RHS Show Manager for Hampton Court said: ‘It is often a tricky balancing act when designing a show garden to promote a serious message.
‘The most compelling gardens of this type are the ones that are design-led – compelling gardens full of excellent planting. This ultimately gets the message across more powerfully and makes a lasting impression on the public.’