Here are a series of simple planted beds I have designed in an estate in Herne Hill in the London Borough of Lambeth. They aim to brighten up and reclaim areas within the predominantly hard surfacing of the estate as well as to absorb surface rain water thus reducing the amount of rain falling into the drain system. The beds are planned to be slightly sunken so that they can retain and drain puddled water during more extensive rain falls and planted up with plants that can cope with varying levels of irrigation.
This is a simple SuDS – Sustainable Urban Drainage Scheme, which is a theme in landscape design that is, quite rightly, becoming more and more popular and that aims to divert rain water away from drains and into planted areas. In built up areas the drainage systems are overwhelmed with surface rain water run off leading to flooding and standing water, which is unnecessary because so much of it can be diverted and allow to drain naturally into planted areas.
I supervised a busy few days planting and was delighted that many local residents joined in to help.
A year later the gardens were thriving. They look great and softened the hard landscape for the residents, absorb excess rain fall and appeal to wildlife. All in all a great success and demonstrates that small interventions in the landscape can make big improvements.