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Future Nature by Adrian Hallam, Chris Arrowsmith & Nigel Dunnett

Future nature - chelsea flower show 2009

This garden presents a number of practical solutions that can be used to create a new type of drought-resistant urban garden especially suited to underutilised city spaces.

Future nature - chelsea flower show 2009

Its central message is, that by using a combination of any of the garden's features coupled with careful plant selection, anybody, using simple planting methods and avoiding irrigation except with stored rain water, can create a colourful and naturalistic garden. It aims to both help alleviate pressure on the urban drainage infrastructure in wet weather and maximize the use of water during increasingly dry summer months.

Future nature - chelsea flower show 2009

Key features of the garden include: a green roof to help reduce surface water runoff as well as enhancing biodiversity; storm water planters and pools to retain water from the roof; a living tower holding drought-resistant plants; butterfly mounds and insect towers stocked with colourful but drought-resistant planting that provide wildlife habitats in a brownfield environment.

Future nature - chelsea flower show 2009

The garden will be relocated to Yorkshire after the show and used to continue to promote the inventive use of small urban spaces and water management.

Future nature - chelsea flower show 2009

Planting list

Green roof
The plant mix on the green roof includes:

Dianthus deltoids
Dianthus carthusianorum
Leucanthemum vulgare

Mini-pools, stormwater basin and pond
These mini-wetlands contain Typha latifolia

Butterfly mounds
The butterfly mounds attract wildlife using:

Stipa tenuissima
Allium schoenoprasum (chives)
Armeria maritima
Silene uniflora
Salvia nemorosa 'Ostfriesland'
Sisyrinchium striatum

Vertical gardens
Chosen for their toughness and tolerance of dry condition, the planting here includes:

Sedum album
Sedum acre 'Minus'
Gypsophila repens 'Rosea'
Thymus vulgaris 'Silver Posie'
Thymus x citriodorus 'Doone Valley'
Fragaria x ananassa 'Pink Panda'
Knautia macedonica
Sedum 'Purple Emperor'

Pictorial Meadow
The use of ornamental grasses such as:

Sesleria heufleriana
Linaria maroccana 'Fairy Lights'

Storm water planter
Plants here must be able to tolerate wet conditions. These include:

Rodgersia podophylla
Iris sibirica 'Flight of Butterflies'
Iris versicolor
Euphorbia palustris

Urban brownfield
These plants colonise on urban brownfield sites and include:

Centranthus ruber
Betula ermanii
Silybum marianum
Verbascum thapsus

Rill and stream
The edges of the rill are planted with Lysimachia nummularia 'Aurea'