New eco garden to conserve and absorb water

Garden and greenhouse enthusiasts with an interest in how horticulture and landscaping can impact the environment may wish to head to Barnes, London, next month.

According to the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), the London Wetland Centre is set to complete work on a new rain garden in August, with the official opening in September.

It will include streams, pools and cascades and should help absorb flash flooding in winter, while conserving water during dry summers.

"A lot of discussion about flood control is done by engineers," designer Dr Nigel Dunnett told the RHS.

"The reason for doing this rain garden is to make it a permanent focus for discussion."

Funded by the Royal Bank of Canada, the garden will channel runoff into large planted hollows and dry stream beds.

It will be filled with specially selected species such as loosestrife and Helianthus Lemon Queen, which should be able to survive in both flood and drought conditions.

In other news, the RHS recently suggested that the wet weather could bring out slugs and snails in their hoards.