Water blues, green solutions

Wheelie bin water butts in progress but action

Wheelie bin water butts in progress but action

Water supply is essential to gardens.

At Nightingale garden, we want to get 'water right' or at least much better than the current situation.

When we first started planting in February 2015, we had no water supply other than from rainfall. Because of this we lost some of the native hedge trees planted - the Spring was just too dry. We were, however, lucky with rainfall at the right time for meadow sowing and the growing flowers survived some dry weather conditions over the Summer.

In February 2016, we have three wheelie-bin water butts connected to a repaired club hut roof. We have some other butts waiting to be connected. But any mains water for drinking, handwashing and washing-up has to be carried in containers from the pavilion across the park.

While we scratch our heads trying to find the mains water supply so we can attach a trough and standpipes, we also have the problem of water-logging from too much rain and poor drainage. This stops some of us who need wheels to move around accessing much of the site and makes using chairs on wet grass difficult.

Last evening, we were inspired by watching the Water Blues Green Solutions US DVD, at the launch of a new local 'Learning to stay dry' community-action group , which is wanting to address some water issues in Cambridge. We really hope the garden can be a place to try out and demonstrate some simple fixes, within a strategy to collect, use wisely and slow down rainwater and use mains water rarely - mostly to drink and handwash. Watch this space!