Show gardens avoid water use

Water was off the menu at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show this week, with designers looking to drought-hit Africa for ideas about how to garden.

Climate changes fears have led to the virtual disappearance of traditional favourite water gardens from the RHS event. This year there were just two.

Enfield-based Anglo Aquarium Plant Company was absent for the first time in many years.

Irish designer Fiann O'Nuallain said: "Hampton Court is renowned for water gardens but I've designed a water garden without water, with the grass making the ripples."

The Send a Cow charity featured ideas from Africa including a drought-resistant "lawn" of African marigolds and fodder plant borders for feeding chickens and a cow.

Southend-on-Sea Borough Council's garden The Water Table used reed bed filtration and drought-tolerant planting including palms, grasses and olives.

The Met Office ran a Climate Change Dome, which explained how the South East will experience temperature rises of up to 3.5 degsC by 2080, with average summer rainfall down five to 20 per cent.

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