Flower meadows and rain gardens – perfect for drought

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They have a beautiful name and look fantastic. They do not require much care. In addition, they allow collection and saving water in the garden. This is important because for the last several years, we have been experiencing drought from spring to autumn.

Lawns popular in Poland require regular watering and mowing. Flower meadows are a considerably better solution, better for the environment and your wallet. They retain moisture for a longer period than grass, and they are only mown twice a year. Several cities in Poland, including Warsaw and Wałbrzych, have changed some of their squares into flower meadows. It is worth introducing this solution in your own garden as well. Flower meadows look beautiful and allow to keep water in the soil for longer. They become the habitat for useful insects. They are easy to establish, as mixes of meadow flowers are available in any gardening shop and construction store.

Water – and in particular rainwater – in the garden is a treasure. For many years now, the drought periods have been alternating in Poland with heavy rains. Such water, directly from the air, is free, and it is favourable for garden plants. Therefore, it is worth collecting it. Rainwater can be collected the traditional way, to special containers set under the gutter. Water collected in this way can be used to water plants. However, you can set large boxes with flowering plants and perennials directly under the gutter, and then avoid the need for watering, because they will be supplied by rainwater. Such rain gardens in boxes have been created in Łódź and Jarosław, among other cities. Therefore, they should be promoted, as they are highly efficient and at the same time – they retain water.

Water can be supplied to the flowerbed through the so called dry creek with a minor slope (approx. 2%), running from the gutter. It will supply the plants during rain. If you want to create a rain garden near your home, it is worth maintaining a distance of approx. 5 m from the walls and foundations, so that the moisture does not penetrate directly into the building. On such flowerbeds you can plant perennials, e.g. the popular sedge, as well as the common bistort, water mint and cranesbill. The substrate in the flowerbed should be absorptive, covered with gravel on top, allowing for a slowed down water evaporation from the soil.

Small flowerbeds supplied with rainwater located e.g. around the parking spot are perfect solution for home gardens as well. Hundreds of litres of water accumulate on paved surfaces during rain, typically flowing to the sewage system. Such a band of flowerbed, with gravel on top and planted with perennials, will filter the rainwater and retain it in the soil. And, as a bonus – it will be a perfect decoration!

You can create a small rainwater-supplied pond in the garden. Its bottom should be lined with impermeable layer, made of e.g. foil. What is more, a water drainage should be also created – it can prove useful during heavy rainfall. This can be done via a drainage pipe. Consider placing decorative gravel on the bottom of the pond, and line its banks with stones. Perennials, as well as iris and water forget-me-not look magnificent in such surroundings. If you have more space available – you can plant a willow. Rain gardens do not need fertilization. The plants absorb their nutrients from rainwater.

Foto from: Adobestock.com