An already award-winning garden designer from Chorley has just scooped two more prizes at a flower show.
John Everiss, 52, was commissioned to create a garden demonstrating ideas to manage rainwater and reduce the impact on public drains and sewers.
The result, Slow the Flow, exhibited at RHS Flower Show at Tatton Park, has secured a Gold medal and an award for Best Show Garden.
“It’s great to get the Best Show Garden award, it’s probably the highest one we can get here,” said John, who has also won Gold at Chelsea Flower Show in the past.
“People are genuinely really interested and have embraced it. We have a social responsibility not only to manage the water that comes through our own gardens but to our neighbours as well.
“It’s devastating when you get flooding.”
John, who lives with his family in Somerset Avenue, also explained that there are lots of ways to create a new parking space, patio or extension and still have an exciting and beautiful green space with a low impact on drainage.
“I’ve used a number of different techniques in the Slow The Flow garden to help people see the possibilities,” he said.
“There are subterranean water storage channels, gabion walls using beautiful stone, permeable paving and a living green roof, to name a few ideas. People will see that the overall effect can be very stylish and modern.
“Our world is changing, we are seeing more extremes of weather with dry periods and torrential rain. Why fight against that when you can design your outdoor space to make the most of these variable conditions? Your plants and wildlife will thank you for it, as well as your neighbours downstream.”
By sponsoring the garden United Utilities hoped to raise awareness of the problems that urban development can cause for public drainage systems.
Urban development has been a growing problem for many years. In the North West, the proportion of front gardens completely paved over increased from four per cent in 2005 to 21 percent in 2015.
The loss of so much permeable ground is steadily increasing the risk of more flooding in towns and cities.
And with back gardens also increasingly being built over with new extensions and conservatories, campaigners argue that there’s a greater need than ever for homeowners to make small changes in how they use their green space.
Jo Harrison, asset management director at United Utilities, said: “Anyone who has ever been through the trauma of sewage flooding into their home knows just how awful and devastating this issue is.
“We only have to walk around our towns and cities to witness the rapid urban development, and we all need to think creatively about how we can use our green space.
“If we all look to make small changes by creating gardens which slow the flow of rainfall into our sewer systems, this combined effect will have a massive benefit on reducing flood risk and pollution.
“John has done a beautiful design to interpret the theme and we are thrilled that it won Gold and Best Show Garden.”
John, who studied at Myerscough College in Preston, has been a professional garden designer and landscaper for over 25 years.
Once the flower show at Tatton Park comes to an end the garden will be uprooted and relocated to Moss Bank Farm in Bolton. “I particularly loved this design and the way it connected with he public,” said John. “Everybody wants to take it home including me.”