Maintaining gardens in dry weather

Evening light on the Chinese bridge and lake in the garden Woolbeding Gardens, West Sussex

Here at Woolbeding Gardens, like much of England, we've had no significant rainfall for months. Gardens can struggle to cope in prolonged high temperatures so we have a few tips to help maintain our gardens when the weather is dry that you might be able yo use in your own gardens.

The soil we have at Woolbeding is a lovely sandy loam to which we add lots of organic material each year, and mulch in the spring. The downside with this type of soil is that it's very free draining and holds little moisture for long periods which can cause a problem when yuo have limited rainfall.

We conserve as much water as possible including harvesting water from our roof, and use the following tips and techniques to help sustain the gardens here at Woolbeding.

  • We put up stock plants into larger pots or propagate new smaller plants
  • We clear out the nursery so we only keep what we really need
  • The team use drip line irrigation
  • Our gardeners water the plants well in the early morning or late in the evening
  • We allow lawns and well established plants to tough it out
  • The team select which important plants need watering and what plants aren't as important
  • We use Tree Watering bags around the newly planted trees and shrubs
  • The gardeners hold off planting many plants until September

We are irrigating a small number of borders to keep them alive and we are also monitoring what withstands the dry period and what doesn't, so we can prepare for future dry spells.

The lawns here are a little brown but there is still plnty of colour to see in the formal gardens and the greenhouse for visitors wanting to enjoy the sun in a grat British garden.