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A water-efficient approach to gardening

Enjoying spending more time in your garden in this glorious weather? Realised the benefits of some contemplative gardening?

Well, you might like to know that the Royal Horticultural Society has joined forces with Water UK to encourage households to adopt a more water-efficient approach to gardening in summer.

The two charities want to remind gardeners to use water sparingly when watering thirsty plants during a heatwave. While it's important to keep plants hydrated during the heat, due to the recent record-breaking 40-degree temperatures and the driest July since 1935, peak demand levels for water are up, as much as 40% higher than usual in some regions. 

So, we thought we'd take a look at the advice and recommendations suggested for saving water when caring for our homes' outside space? 'If everyone uses water carefully, cutting back a little where they can by using a watering can instead of a sprinkler, for example, makes a big difference,' says Water UK Chief Executive Christine McGourty.

Here are some of the recommendations

Sustainable and Free
Install a water butt

These are brilliant for collecting rainwater to give to your plants. They come in all shapes and sizes and can be easily found via garden centres, DIY stores and of course, like us, via a quick Google search -  we were quite surprised when we took a look for this blog!

And if you can't fit a water butt in your outside space, keep an eye on the weather forecast and with a potential downpour approaching make ready to collect the rain! You can still use watering cans, flower pots or bins to collect some rainwater.

Switch to watering plants in the morning

Domestic water use tends to peak in the early evening so start watering early in the morning to ease the demand later in the day, suggests Water UK. This also helps provide the water that plants will draw on during the hot day, and will avoid it just draining away at night. 

Don't water your lawn

Despite what people think, lawns don't need watering like plants as they are tough and can bounce back once it rains again.

Use a watering can

Water UK says that hoses use up a huge amount of water. One hour's use is equivalent to the average supply for a family of four for two days under normal circumstances. The use of buckets and watering cans will limit the amount of water used and also slow the flow when watering containers and planters which means more water stays in the pot rather than running out the bottom. Swapping to a watering can also help you hit that daily step count.

Train your plants to drink more slowly by giving them less

The more often you water your plants, the more they will want to drink. 'Using less water will actually encourage the plants to drink less. In essence, if you keep the glass half full, your plants will adapt and learn to drink more slowly, really! Give it a go...

Looking ahead to future summers... 

Bigger plants like trees, shrubs and hedges create natural shade and help cool the garden. Plant bigger plants now and over time your garden won't need as much water, plus plants require less water themselves. 

Find more of our interior design blogs for inspiration.