Two street-side rain gardens in London Bridge
Due to the prevalence of hard surfaces in London and the inability of the Victorian drainage system to handle large amounts of rainwater, there is a need to find other solutions to dealing with the increasing amount of unexpected flooding events due to a changing climate.
These two rain gardens have been reclaimed from street spaces, and engineered with an attenuation tank below the ground to accommodate the amount water runoff generated by a 1 in 30 year flooding event. In the case of such an event, the tanks retain the water until it can be dissipated at a gradual pace.
Above the tanks are porous layers of gravel, sand and sand/loam to facilitate quick drainage. Appropriate planting has been placed into the top substrate, influenced by the ecology of natural plant communities and aesthetic criteria, to ensure a healthy and interesting streetscape throughout the year. The low nutrient medium encourages plants to develop healthy and robust root systems that are able to withstand climatic challenges.
The garden on Snowsfields is a sunny location and features a grass matrix with seven species of local and introduced grasses, intended to withstand drought conditions, as well as occasions of extreme moisture. Interplanted within this matrix is a wide range of drought tolerant perennials including local wildflowers and introduced species.
The garden in Melior Street features a semi-shade planting palette of local and introduced species of grasses, ferns and perennials.
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