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The HESCO Garden by Leeds City Council

Leeds City Council has brought a rain garden to Chelsea that focuses on raising awareness of the problems caused by flash flooding - a topical subject following our recent wet summers - and offers gardening solutions.

HESCO garden chelsea flower show 2009

A recreation of a stone cottage stands in the shelter of a wooded, rocky bluff, complete with a typically rainy day - pulses of water running from the cottage roof through stormwater planters and down into the garden.

HESCO garden chelsea flower show 2009

The bowl-shaped design directs surface water down into a main pond flanked by shallow overflow pools, planted with moisture-loving irises, hostas and Primula beesiana. Steel gabions produced by sponsors HESCO Bastion filled with reclaimed, locally-sourced stone are densely planted with ivy, making living walls which further absorb water.

HESCO garden chelsea flower show 2009

Because rain gardens direct water away from certain parts of the garden, they can also create free-draining areas even in wet climates - and the lush, romantic planting capitalises on this, with geraniums, geums and aquilegias in relaxed, natural pastel tones.

HESCO garden chelsea flower show 2009

Plants list

You can read more about each plant by clicking the links below. Add any of these plants to you own 'Plants I want' list. To get a copy of this entire plant list emailed to you (to add to your own Plants I want list) please write to Shoot@ShootGardening.co.uk and title your email HESCO Garden plants list.

Adiantum pedatum
Ajuga reptans 'Braunherz'
Alchemilla mollis
Alnus cordata
Angelica gigas
Anthriscus sylvestris 'Ravenswing'
Aquilegia vulgaris (Vervaeneana Group) 'Woodside White'
A. vulgaris 'Adelaide Addison'
A. vulgaris 'Nivea'
A. vulgaris var. flore-pleno 'White Bonnet'
A. vulgaris var. stellata 'Nora Barlow'
A. vulgaris var. stellata 'Ruby Port'
A. vulgaris 'William Guiness'
Armeria maritima 'Splendens'
Artemisia absinthium 'Lambrook Mist'
Aruncus dioicus (m)
Asplenium scolopendrium
Astilbe × crispa 'Lilliput'
A. chinensis 'Diamonds and Pearls'
A. chinensis var. pumila
A. × arendsii 'Ellie'
A. 'Heart and Soul'
A. 'Straussenfeder' (thunbergii hybrid)
Athyrium filix-femina
A. filix-femina 'Frizelliae'
Bergenia cordifolia
Betula ermanii
B. nigra HERITAGE ('Cully')
B. pendula
Camassia cusickii
Carex flagellifera
C. morrowii 'Gilt' (v)
C. pendula
Centaurea montana
Centranthus ruber var. coccineus
Cephalaria gigantea
Cerastium tomentosum
Darmera peltata
Deschampsia flexuosa 'Tatra Gold'
D. flexuosa
Dianthus 'Mrs Sinkins'
Dicentra spectabilis
D. spectabilis 'Alba'
Digitalis purpurea f. albiflora
D. × mertonensis
Equisetum hyemale
Erigeron karvinskianus
Erysimum 'Bowles Mauve'
Euphorbia amygdaloides 'Purpurea'
E. characias 'Black Pearl'
Filipendula rubra 'Venusta'
Geranium clarkei 'Kashmir Pink'
G. clarkei 'Kashmir White'
G. macrorrhizum 'Ingwersen's Variety'
G. macrorrhizum 'White-Ness'
G. phaeum var. phaeum 'Samobor'
G. pratense 'Mrs Kendall Clark'
G. renardii 'Tcschelda'
Geum 'Georgenberg'
G. 'Borisii'
Geum 'Prinses Juliana'
G. rivale 'Leonard's Variety'
Hebe rakaiensis
Hedera helix
Helictotrichon sempervirens
Heuchera 'Cappuccino'
H. 'Cascade Dawn'
H. 'Mint Frost'
H. 'Pewter Moon'
H. 'Pluie de Feu'
H. 'Plum Pudding'
H. 'Rachel'
H. 'Regina'
H. 'Stormy Seas'
H. villosa 'Palace Purple'
Hosta 'Jade Cascade'
H. 'Paul's Glory'
H. 'Pineapple Poll'
H. 'Rippling Waves'
H. 'Yellow River'
Hosta fortunei var. aureomarginata
H. fortunei 'Francee'
H. fortunei 'Gold Standard'
H. fortunei 'Minuteman'
H. nigrescens
H. 'Patriot'
H. undulata var. albomarginata
Hydrangea anomala subsp. petiolaris
Iris sibirica 'Cambridge'
Iris sibirica 'Persimmon'
Libertia peregrinans
Liquidambar styraciflua 'Lane Roberts'
Lonicera × brownie 'Dropmore Scarlet'
Luzula sylvatica 'Marginata'
Lychnis flos-cuculi
Matteuccia struthiopteris
Muehlenbeckia complexa
Onoclea sensibilis
Origanum vulgare 'Aureum'
Osmunda regalis
Parthenocissus henryana
Persicaria affinis 'Darjeeling Red'
Persicaria amplexicaulis 'Firetail'
Pinus mugo
Pinus parviflora 'Saphir'
Pinus sylvestris
Polypodium vulgare
Polystichum polyblepharum
Polystichum setiferum
Primula beesiana
Primula florindae
Rheum palmatum 'Rubrum'
Rhododendron 'Gibraltar'
R. 'Homebush'
R. 'Klondyke'
R. 'Whitethroat'
Sedum kamtschaticum
Sempervivum tectorum
Sisyrinchium striatum
Maianthemum racemosa
Stipa gigantea
Taxodium distichum
Thalictrum delavayi 'Hewitt's Double'
Tiarella cordifolia
Uvularia grandiflora
Verbascum (Cotswold Group) 'Gainsborough'
Viburnum rhytidophyllum