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With weather patterns changing due to climate change, it’s more important than ever that gardens in the UK are able to withstand the elements.

Heavy rainfall in a short space of time can lead to flash flooding and if an outdoor space isn’t designed with this in mind, standing water can cause lasting damage to the garden. On the other hand, extreme heat and droughts can kill plants and ruin habitats, and make outdoor spaces unusable.

We want to support customers to create gardens that can tackle both challenges, no matter the size and location of the space. Here, Steve MacDavid, one of our Category Directors, shares the different solutions that builders, landscapers and contractors can use to help weather-proof gardens, making them a great space no matter the weather.

Hard landscaping for flooding

“Hard landscaping can be used to manage water during periods of heavy rainfall. Channel drainage can be built around the perimeter of a garden or driveway and soakaway options can be installed underground to create an ‘invisible’ drainage solution. But to ensure they’re effective, you need to also take care of what’s beneath the ground. Channelling and soakaways require a quality base of both course and fine aggregates to manage the amount of water entering the system. These can be combined with perforated drains or attenuation crates and then topped with high quality paving, like Marshalls’ Priora paving, for a long-term, sustainable system for water management.”

Soft landscaping for flooding

“Soft landscaping options provide a more natural flood management solution, and are popular because of their biodiversity benefits. Something as simple as laying a quality substrate and topsoil, followed by new turf from suppliers like Rolawn, can be extremely effective in reducing flooding. If this is teamed with underwater rainwater harvesting system, which diverts standing floodwater to a storage tank, it’ll work even better. Biodiversity planting ranges, like those we offer from Rolawn’s Bioscapes range, also provide a great habitat for wildlife and have an in-built water management system which supports the planting above. Sedum roofing is another way to bring green benefits to houses and outbuildings, using drought-resistant plants that require minimal maintenance. Get started with our sedum roofing kits and accessories.”

New build houses and extreme heat

“There are new Building Regulations in place to prepare newbuild properties for extreme temperatures. Part O now states that homes in locations at high risk of overheating should include external shading elements to prevent the risk of residents overheating.

“New build gardens range in size, but there are options available for gardens both big and small. For example, we can help develop bespoke shading solutions that meet the necessary regulations to satisfy building control and provide customers with what they need.”

Garden refurbishments for heatwaves

“Existing gardens receiving a refurbishment for scaling temperatures could include pergolas to create a perfect shading solution. Options like those from Forest provide shading from both the top and sides, creating a safe space for hotter days. To build on this, hedgerows and trees can be planted around the structure to increase the shade and bring the temperature down further. Rainwater harvesting systems, like those from Rainwater Harvesting Ltd, are useful here too, with 1000s of litres stored which can be utilised for plant watering during periods of drought.”

At Jewson, we bring the latest innovations to market to ensure that gardens of any size can benefit from designs which protect them from the most extreme of the elements. Check out our landscaping range here and explore our latest landscaping brochure here.