The creation of a new ‘water-wise garden’ has commenced at Roadford Lake. Funded by South West Water, and developed in partnership with South West Lakes, Sue Fisher Garden Design and R&M Landscaping, the project is part of South West Water’s campaign to highlight how customers can save money through water efficiency.

The previously unused grassy area below the function room will be transformed into a beautiful garden, featuring landscaping methods and plants which help to conserve water. In addition to providing a calming natural space to enjoy, the concept behind the garden carries an important message: how to save water, time and money.

Water is a precious resource that faces increasing pressure from climate change, lifestyle changes, population increase, and the need to protect threatened wild habitats. As the effects of climate change worsen, longer periods of drought and intense heat are expected to become the ‘new normal’.

On hot days, outdoor water use can account for half of our daily consumption; however, much of this is not necessary, and so wastes money. Through the water-wise garden, we aim to demonstrate that by choosing the right plants and methods, you can enjoy a beautiful garden that requires less water, and therefore costs less.

It all starts with choosing the right plants; many have evolved to survive under drought conditions. Some of the features which help them do this are:

  •  Silvery light-reflecting leaves
  • Hairy, waxy or slender leaves that minimise water loss
  • Thick, fleshy leaves or bulbous roots. These are self-contained water reservoirs!
  • Contain aromatic oils that evaporate to form an invisible heat shield. As well as looking lovely, these smell fantastic too!

You will find plenty of inspiration in our water-wise garden for your own gardens at home: for example, ideas on landscaping with terraced beds and soil covering to prevent valuable soil washing away; using ground-covering plants as alternatives to sun-baked grass lawns, and how to store and re-use rainwater. You will also see ways of using fabulous easy-care containers with water reservoirs and patio watering systems.

The new garden will include plenty of seating, providing a space to simply sit, relax and enjoy the natural surroundings.
Landscaping and planting will be taking place over the next few months, finishing in spring 2021.

Keep track of the transformation by following us on Facebook - @swlakes & @roadfordcafeandvenue