A case in point is this year’s ‘Trailfinders Australian Garden presented by Fleming’s’ entry to the Chelsea Flower Show in London, which is set to show the world how ‘the land Down Under’ is leading the way to a more sustainable water future.
Designed by multi-award winning Australian landscape designer, Phillip Johnson, the central focus of this year’s ninth and final ‘Trailfinders Australian Garden presented by Fleming’s’ will be the collection and filtration of rain water.
Renowned for his approach to sustainable landscape and garden design, Phillip Johnson’s garden is maintained by an integrated water management system which is independent from mains water and reduces the impact on the storm water infrastructure by retaining and recycling water.
Designed to capture and harvest rainwater from the studio structure into the rain water tank, when the tank is full, the overflow is then directed into a creek which flows to the billabong.
Serving as a beautiful, chemical-free, swimming pool, the billabong includes stone waterfalls that provide aesthetic, acoustic and functional benefits as well as a source of evaporative cooling for a studio structure positioned above the garden.
In times of high rainfall, the garden has been designed to utilise rain water run-off via its abundant permeable surfaces, filtrate it and retain the water in the billabong for future use, and in times of drought the garden uses its water stores to nourish the plant life and aid their survival when there is little or no rainfall to sustain the landscape.
Phillip Johnson said that all too often, most of the emphasis is placed on hard landscaping which traps rainwater above ground; increasing reliance on storm water infrastructure and placing strain on waterways in times of flooding or high water.
“This year’s Australian Garden incorporates permeable surfacing such as pebbles, mulch, gravel and timber.
“The aim is to showcase exactly what can be achieved in landscape design when you shift the emphasis to soft landscaping – paying homage to Mother Nature in terms of both form and function.
“By increasing our use of natural and reclaimed materials, we are able to decrease our water wastage and create self-sustaining habitats at the same time.
“With much attention currently focused on how Australians use and recycle our precious potable water, the Trailfinders Australian Garden is a timely reminder of how residents can help to reduce water run-off in their own gardens at home.
“It is my hope that by demonstrating exactly how we can introduce an integrated water management system into residential gardens, people will consider more permeable solutions in their gardens at home and thus reduce their impact on storm water infrastructure and water wastage,” he said.
This year’s Australian Garden will be Fleming’s Nurseries’ final entry into the world-famous event.
For more information about the Trailfinders Australian Garden presented by Fleming’s, or to keep up to date with the latest news, head to www.flemings.com.au/chelsea2013