Seen at the Festival of the Tree

...if you would be happy all your life, plant a garden ~ Chinese proverb

Friday, 29 August 2014

Portland Inspiration: Raindrops on Rhone Street



If the embedded video doesn't work, you can view it here (opens in a new window).

One of the main reasons I wanted to go to Portland was to find out more about their pioneering rain gardens I'd heard about on Nigel Dunnet's study day a few years ago.

I didn't dream I'd actually get to see a rain garden in action. The high 90s weather we had on our visit broke on the final day to give us some much needed respite from the heat. Luckily the thunderstorm delivered itself in 15-30 minute chunks with long pauses in between, so we still had plenty of time to explore the gardens on our itinerary.


The exception was when the storm first broke whilst we were visiting Fling organiser Scott at his Rhone Street Gardens. Here's Scott and Galloping Gardener Charlotte taking refuge from the rain. They're the people you can hear talking in the above video.*

As you can see, Scott has woven a lush garden around his property, which also nicely screens the barrels fed by the rain chains. I think the chains he's chosen are great when it's raining and are attractive when it's not.

I'm now eyeing up the guttering around our house. I know NAH won't let me disconnect our downpipes,** but perhaps I can persuade him it solves our problem with a couple of places where the gutters overflow during heavy downpours. I just need to check they'll bear the additional weight and the rain will be directed away from the walls.

I'll return to Scott's garden again in future posts; in the meantime here's what my fellow Flingers said about their visit to this delightful garden.

* = I did create a version with a music soundtrack, but thought the featured version where you can hear the rain is much better. In future I need to remember to shoot video in landscape, not portrait - thank goodness you can turn uploaded videos around in YouTube.

** = he's refused to let me put a green roof on our shed, so he has 'form' with these kinds of initiatives.

10 comments:

  1. It's great isn't it. I noticed some rain chains and similar things at Slimbridge last time I went. No doubt I'll have the opportunity to see it in action before too long. There's a rain garden there as well, which was moved there from Chelsea Garden Show a number of years ago. It's full of places for insects to live and it's really ageing well. I'll take some photos next time I'm there, you've reminded me how nice it is.

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    1. ooh I don't remember seeing those the last time I was at Slimbridge - I must look out for it next time :)

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  2. The rain chains Scott has looks very attractive even on their own. And there were so many designs and styles available in the area too. I think it'll be a great solution to those overflowing areas you mentioned.

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    1. We have gravel right by the overflow areas, so I think it could be a great solution to our problem :)

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  3. I didn't go to the Fling, so it's nice to see some of the things that happened there. We have to channel water away from our house to avoid having a flooded basement, the rain chain looks attractive, going into a rain barrel sounds like a great idea.

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    1. Hi Hanna and welcome to Veg Plotting :-) I think they're a brilliant idea - you can see in the photo that the gutter is extended out from the house, so that the water doesn't hit the walls, is this something that would help with your problem?

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  4. Love the video of the rain chain. I think Scott's garden was my overall favorite from the Fling.

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    1. Hi gardeninacity, nice to see you here! I've been enjoying Scott's post Fling photod of his garden very much indeed :-)

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  5. Nice, unusual look to his rain chains. Anything to slow water down and disperse it to plant root zones gets my vote! Thanks especially for the video w/ rain and voice sounds...perfect.

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    1. Thanks David - slightly different to the usual style of landscaping you deal with :-)

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