WaterAid Garden

Show Gardens

The WaterAid garden explores the challenges presented by an ever-changing climate. It focuses on sustainable water management and features a colourful array of plant species designed to deal with varying amounts of rainfall.

The garden uses materials that are reclaimed and repurposed for a lighter carbon footprint. At the centre of the design is a rainwater-harvesting pavilion, inspired by WaterAid’s work with communities around the world to develop sustainable water solutions.

The structure harvests every drop of rainfall, filtering and storing this precious resource for drinking and irrigating while also slowing flow and providing shade.

At a glance:

Who is this garden for? 
For the education and enjoyment of everyone.
Where is the garden set?  
South west England
Who or what is the design inspiration?
The potential for sustainable water management.

Alnus glutinosa ‘Pyramidalis’ emerge though the pavilion, part of a planting scheme chosen principally for resilience and biodiversity. The planting is textured and colourful, shifting from denser, wetter, lowland areas to sparser, dryer upland character with the garden’s shifting topography.

Key sustainability points:

  • The garden uses screw piles, instead of virgin concrete at the show
  • Every surface from the open metal decking to the pavilion is permeable allowing water to pass though
  • The garden is all about sustainable water management and elements of the techniques and planting schemes on display could be implemented at home

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The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.