Charlie Says: Keep Your Garden Safe From Floods

Rain, rain and lots more rain has been forecast for the next couple of months for the British Isles due to climate change. Flooding also effects other seasons, with Summers increasingly experiencing heat waves and droughts, a lot of the earth is dried and unable to absorb some of the rain we get, resulting in flooding. We have therefore put some handy tips together that we can all do to our homes and gardens to decrease the risks of flooding – no matter what the season.

1. Clear your gutters

Gutters play a really important role in collecting rain water and effectively draining it away. Over the Autumn and Winter, loose leaves and debris may have fallen into your gutters, especially if your home is situated under a tree. Check for any small bits that may be blocking your drain, or call out a professional to thoroughly unblock your drain if you can’t do this yourself. You can also check your gutters to make sure they are in good condition, and there aren’t any cracked or broken parts.

Your gutter should lead to a drain or a soak away which is easily created by using aggregates which will help water soak into the ground. Click here to view our range of Aquaflow aggregates intended for this purpose.

2. Use Water Butts to collect rainfall

This is an effective way of collecting heavy rain in the Winter, ready for the Summer. This low-cost option can be purchased at Garden Centres and local councils, sometimes people sell these online if they no longer need them, or you could even use an old wheelie bin if it was in a hidden area of the garden!

3. Plant a variety of leafy greens

Plant borders look great around the garden anyway, as they add a splash of colour, attract insects and therefore help feed the birds. They can also be really helpful in times of heavy and persistant rain. Shrubs and trees will absorb water from the ground through their roots, preventing the ground from becoming saturated from heavy rain, but a lot of the rain will also get absorbed through their leaves as well.

Plants with large leaves will shelter the ground, adding a layer of protection. The variety of plants you choose isn’t that important, but ever greens are a good choice as they are low maintenance and will stay leafy through the Winter.

4. Carefully plan your patio

If your patio is in an area that is exposed to lots of rain, and if your garden does have the habit of flooding, you must carefully plan any patios or decking in your garden. When laying the patio, use hard-core or a sub-base material as the base underneath the patio to ensure good drainage.

When choosing your patio slabs, opt for a natural stone such as Limestone or Sandstone, both of these stones are porous, meaning liquid is able to pass through it. When joining your patio slabs together, buy a porous option – our EasyJoint is completely permeable, so water can pass through this as well.

If you choose a Composite Deck or Porcelain paving, make sure you lay this at a slight slope, with a small soak-away at the end of the patio to drain any excess water away. If your patio is exposed to a lot of rain, it will become dangerous and slippery, so this is really important.

5. Choose permeable driveways/ landscape features

When choosing your driveway, consider using gravel or chippings. When laid at the right thickness, this can provide a safe and attractive drive, as well as insuring rainfall will drain nicely into the earth.

If you go for the popular option of block paving, and you don’t have very good drainage at the front of your house, lay this on a slope as well, so the rainfall will roll into a nearby drain.

Using artificial grass at some parts of the garden is becoming a popular low maintenance feature. Luckily, our artificial grass has very good drainage, so, when laid properly, shouldn’t have risk of flooding.

6. Notice ‘Problem Areas’

When you’re planning to update your garden and add certain features, make a full inspection of your garden first. If you’re thinking of adding a deck or a patio, ensure you’re not going to lay it directly under your gutter, and if your gutter does lead to it, create a separate soak-away for the water to drain into. This prevents the risk of slippery patios and also flooding further down your garden if you have laid this in a slope.

If there are certain areas of your garden that seem to flood easily with a lack of drainage, consider turning it into a flowery feature. By adding lots of different shrubs and flowers, it will hide the flooding but also prevent it by soaking more moisture up from the ground. You can be as creative as you like (see photo above) OR you could dig a large hole and turn it into a pond!

If you’re starting to plan a new, updated garden for 2020, look through our website or call the friendly team on 01202 874207 to get the best advice and to see how we can turn your dreams into reality.