sustainable landscape design
for people, nature and climate

Oborne Road Rain Gardens


These are a series of simple planted Rain Garden planted beds in an estate in Herne Hill in the London Borough of Lambeth.  This is a simple SuDS – Sustainable Urban Drainage Scheme, which aims to divert rain water away from drains and into planted areas.  The beds 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.  They are 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 drought and saturation.  

A long surface level bed will replace this tired and unkempt planter
A long surface level bed will replace this tired and unkempt planter
These poor trees need something more natural below them!
The trees to be underplanted with woodland plugs and bulbs
A previously planted bed that has become neglected
This bed will be extended and planted with a variety of ornamental plants with long seasonal interest and wildlife value
A small triangular bed for wildlife friendly plants with long seasonal interest

Elaine supervised a busy few days planting and it was fantastic that many of the local residents joined in to help.

Plants laid out ready for planting c.Joe Twigg – @avectwigg
Getting stuck into the planting c.Joe Twigg – @avectwigg
Growing green fingers c.Joe Twigg – @avectwigg

A year later the gardens were thriving.  They looked great and softened the hard landscape for the residents, absorbed excess rain fall and appeal to wildlife.  All in all a great success and demonstration that small interventions in the landscape can make big improvements.

One of the new beds with an interpretation board c.Joe Twigg – @avectwigg
Blooming lovely rain water absorption c.Joe Twigg – @avectwigg