Managing water in gardens


We’re not quite half way through 2020 but we’ve already had a record breaking year for weather. From the wettest February on record (at least for England, Wales and Northern Ireland: it was the second wettest for Scotland), May has been the driest on record since 1896 in England and has followed two months of dry weather. Although there has been some variation around the country, most of the UK has had lower than average rainfall since March. Added to this, this spring is the sunniest on record – with 613 hours of sunshine (possibly even more when the count for 30-31 May is included), considerably higher than the average 436 hours and breaking the previous record of 555 hours set in 1948.

Usually, this would be the main topic of conversation with horticulturists, particularly as the drier, sunnier weather has meant much more time spent watering and damping down. It has taken a global pandemic to move it quite a way down the ‘barometer of concern’ but if the lack of rain continues, combined with sunny and very warm conditions, it will become an issue for most – if not all – gardens. PlantNetwork, with Janet Manning (RHS Water Management Specialist), have produced a short report looking at the issues facing water management in gardens and outlining measures that gardens can adopt to build water resilience – whether it is too much or too little water. You can access the report from the link below. Listen to Janet’s webinar for PlantNetwork to find out more about water management.

We would very much like to hear from you regarding your experiences with water management in your gardens. Contact PlantNetwork with your experiences.

As part of the water management webinar on 20 May 2020, we organised a short survey to find out where water fitted in your garden plans. The survey is still open so please spare a few minutes to answer the three multiple-choice questions so we can get a better understanding of what you are thinking about/doing with water.