Well, another show is done and dusted for another year. We had an absolutely glorious time at the annual Royal Horticultural Society's Flower Show in Cardiff. We enjoyed meeting lots of lovely new people and seeing some of our members and supporters.
This year's garden was a rain garden. And boy did the rain come in bucket loads! It has been the wettest show we have done so far and it came with its challenges. During the show build up most of our pitch, including the inside of our gazebo, remained flooded. It wasn't until the day before the show that the council managed to drain the water from our site.
The aim of our rain garden was to encourage people to bring sustainable draining systems into their gardens to decrease the risk of flooding in urban areas, prevent pollution and help local wildlife. Rain gardens all share a common goal; to capture water in a beautiful and wildlife-friendly way!
Our rivers are under a huge amount of stress in the UK, with increased urbanisation changing the natural flow of water, leading to increased water pollution and flooding. By creating a rain garden, also known as a Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) you can improve your local area for wildlife.
Elements of the garden included a shed with a green roof that had a downpipe fitted which fed water from the roof into a water butt. A green roof will half the amount of water that ends up trickling off a roof and flowing down a drain. The water butt can then harvest the wastewater from the roof and guttering which can then be reused to water garden plants, wash cars and even be used in your washing machine. The water butt was kindly supplied by Celtic Sustainables.
In the centre of the garden we had a beautiful, solar powered water feature that was kindly lent to us by Water Features 2 Go. This stunning, stone centrepiece gave the garden a lovely tranquil feeling.
To the side of our garden we had a willow hedgehog woven by South Wales Basket Weavers. A rain garden would attract slugs which in turn would attract hedgehogs so, we thought that this was an appropriate willow sculpture for a rain garden.
Other elements that we had in the rain garden included a fantastic array of pond and blog plants from Puddle Plants Nursery. These included the native Marsh marigolds, Snakes head fritillary, Raged robin, Cuckoo flower, Brookline, Water avens and more.
We also displayed a wildlife-friendly pond, a glass front planter to show the levels and materials that can be used for a sustainable drainage system and our Wildlife Trust moss sign.
During the show we had our Virtual Reality Experiences out for people to have a go of. They could either do our Dolphin Dive experience or our Flight of the Kingfisher experience.
We would like to thank everyone who helped us to make the garden a success and to all our sponsors as well as players of the People's Postcode Lottery. It's important for us to have a presence at shows like these to ensure that continued awareness is raised for our conservation projects and to rally support for the vital work we do to protect local wildlife for the future.
We hope to see you at the show next year and if you would like information about becoming a member of the trust (if you aren't already) you can visit the membership page.