Water Talk 2024

Sustainable rainwater design in homes

Gardeners' New World now

Drought and flood are no longer predicted futures of climate change, they are present realities, they are Gardeners’ New World. Parched plants and hosepipe bans dominated Summer 2022; sodden ground and flooding Winter 2023.

Our sewerage system is no longer coping with the volume of rainwater entering it, resulting in repeated overflows into our waterways. Demand on our water supply system will outstrip supply within the next 10-15 years.

Image of sewage entering waterway
Sewage overflowed into waterways over 1200 times a day in 2023*
Graph showing how demand for water will outstrip supply in the UK
Graph showing point when water demand will outstrip supply in the UK†
National and domestic responses

Much airtime is devoted to national, industry, macro solutions. Josh Fenton’s Lunatica Garden showcases local, individual, micro rainwater solutions for our homes.

Josh has designed and built his garden for Gardeners World Live, held at the National Exhibition Centre from 13th-16th June 2024.

The Lunatica Garden is one of four gardens in the Association of Landscape Professionals Avenue. These gardens are the typical size of a back garden and this year explore the theme ‘The Good Life’.

“The garden responds to the theme ‘a good life’ as clean healthy water is vital for all forms that a good life would take. The name comes from the twice daily influence that the moon has on the bodies of water on our planet.” – Josh Fenton.

One rainwater design, five rainwater solutions...

The Lunatica Garden uses five, smaller, interconnected solutions to manage rainwater en route, rather than a single, large solution at the end. Rainwater flows from one solution to the next primarily by gravity, plus has fun along the way – take a dip in your rainwater storage tank! The solutions harness the power of plants and soil to slow and disperse water, with support from ACO’s products to store and channel.

Click on the Lunatica Garden image below to see the five solutions.

…supported by two ACO products

ACO Threshold Drain

The Lunatica Garden uses ACO Threshold Drain with a CorTen grating to channel rainwater off the patio into the plunge pool.

ACO RoofBloxx

ACO RoofBloxx (ACO’s green/blue roof geocellular product) is installed under the planting to create a passive irrigation reservoir. This crate-like product supports planting above while creating a space for rainwater below, wrapped in two membrane layers that keep water in and soil out. Rainwater is channelled into the reservoir from the patio and the raised bed behind, which is more permeable.

Wicking beds enhance irrigation by watering from below rather than above. Less water is lost to surface evaporation, plants develop deeper roots as they grow towards the water source and no pump or mains water is required.

ACO RoofBloxx 125
Bringing sustainable rainwater design home

Be inspired by the Lunatica Garden’s sustainable rainwater design. Bring rainwater solutions back home to become part of the solution to our national water crisis.

After Gardeners’ World Live, the Lunatica Garden will be transferred to ellenor, a hospice charity based in Gravesend. It will feature as part of their new Wellbeing Centre, which is currently under construction.

The Wellbeing Centre allows ellenor to extend the palliative care it offers adults and children with new facilities and rooms – including spaces for counselling, activities, and complementary therapy – as well as quiet areas for people and their families. The relocated Lunatica Garden will provide a beautiful and relaxing exterior space to the Wellbeing Centre, plus Josh's sustainable rainwater design will support the planting and manage rainwater on site.

Buildings of the ellenor, a hospice charity based in Gravesend

“Creating this garden for ellenor has been a deeply fulfilling journey. I believe that amidst the challenges of life-limiting illnesses, providing a serene and beautiful environment can offer solace and comfort to patients and their families. Gardens have a unique ability to soothe and restore, and I hope that 'Lunatica' will be a source of joy and tranquillity for everyone who visits.” – Josh Fenton

Featured Downloads

Login or register to download
Reimagining Rainwater Brochure (2.3MB)
Reimagining Rainwater Brochure (2.3MB)

We practice old-world water habits in Gardeners’ New World of drought and flood. We must now reimagine rainwater as a precious resource.

Building + Landscape Brochure
Building + Landscape Brochure

Design inspiration for domestic landscaping projects


*Annual sewage overflow data is available from the Environment Agency's website here.

†The graph demonstrating water demand will outstrip supply is reproduced with permission from The Rivers Trust's The State of Our Rivers Report 2024, available here