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National water crisis addressed at Gardeners’ World Live

by | 11 Jun 24 | Garden Design, News | 0 comments

A show garden at this year’s BBC Gardeners’ World Live will explore how individuals can play a role in addressing the national water crisis regarding sewage overflows and water scarcity.

The Lunatica Garden, designed by Joshua Fenton in response to the climate crisis, explores how UK gardeners can rethink rainwater use.

With storms and sewage overflows a prevalent topic among several of the political parties’ election campaigns, Fenton – owner of landscaping business Fenton Garden Ltd – is using the event to challenge the way visitors design their gardens, ensuring rainwater use is central.

Fenton pays particular attention to how water moves through the garden, crafting a series of interconnected rainwater solutions from roof to ground level.

Angus Crichton, marketing manager at ACO House and Garden, says: “The garden is a masterclass in sustainable rainwater design, using plants and soil to slow and disperse rainwater, supported by ACO products to channel water to store for reuse.”

The garden’s buildings are cladded with clover green roofs that slow and disperse rainwater, while rainwater is channeled off the paving via ACO’s Threshold Drain into a passive irrigation system beneath the garden’s surface, made up from ACO’s RoofBloxx geocellular units.

The rainwater runoff stored in this underground tank then feeds the plants in the garden above, allowing them to wick up the water in drier periods.

Overflowing water is collected into a plunge pool, which doubles as a rainwater harvesting tank, before being dispersed into the ground onsite.

Fenton has designed the garden with five interconnected solutions to manage rainwater runoff in place of a more common, singular solution. With the goal of keeping rainwater out of the sewer and ready for reuse in the garden in an effort to address the national water crisis.

The landscaper comments on the inspiration behind the garden’s theme, saying: “The Lunatica garden explores how people can take action to help reuse rainwater. By making small changes, we can make a long-term impact on the environment while still being able to have beautifully landscaped spaces. I hope people leave the show feeling inspired that they can make a difference, even if it’s as simple as building a small reservoir in the garden.”

Once BBC Gardeners’ World Live comes to a close, the Lunatica garden will be donated to ellenor – a hospice charity providing palliative and end-of-life care to people with life-limiting illnesses in Kent and Bexley. The garden will be installed at ellenor hospice’s brand-new Wellbeing Wing, a project which broke ground in 2023.

BBC Gardeners’ World Live runs from 13 to 16 June at the NEC in Birmingham. For more information about Lunatica, please visit

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