The Water Saving Garden at RHS Chelsea Flower Show

An award winning Show Garden designed by Chiltern Garden Design for the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2024, sponsored by Affinity Water.

Designer Sam Proctor created her debut Show Garden, at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2024.

The Water Saving Garden, in the Balcony & Container Gardens category, was chance to get a very important message about water conservation, an issue close to our hearts, out onto the world stage.

This contemporary courtyard space has water saving measures at its heart, featuring rainwater collection tanks and  interconnected sleek planters fed with rainwater. Delivering water straight to the roots of the plants reduces the amount of watering required by approximately 30%.

The garden is a love letter to the Chilterns’ iconic chalk streams, highlighting the urgent need to save and re-use rainwater, a cause championed by Affinity Water’s Save Our Streams campaign.

The sound of running water, with timber walkways amongst lush restful planting in shades of blue and white give a nod to the landscape of our chalk streams.

With temperatures hitting record highs, drought and hosepipe bans, the effects of climate change have started to hit home in recent summers. Having made her home in the Chilterns twenty years ago, Sam has grown to love its rolling hills and rare chalk streams.

Chalk streams are one of the world’s rarest and most vulnerable habitats, with 85% of the world’s chalk streams in England. Fed by aquifers in chalk hills sixty million years old, they provide naturally gin-clear, nutrient-rich waters which support an astonishing array of species. But these ecosystems are under strain. We need to inspire people to take the initiative to save water in gardens. In England in particular, unless we take collective responsibility for the crisis our chalk streams are in, we’ll lose them and the extraordinary biodiversity they support.  If we all try to use less tap water and more rainwater and grey water, we can all do our bit to prevent these delicate chalk stream habitats from disappearing.

Affinity Water’s Save Our Streams campaign is a perfect fit with the message of this garden, offering simple ways to save water and money, including free water saving devices for home and garden.

The garden was awarded a Bronze Medal by the RHS.

Click here to see The Water Saving Garden Plant List

Project Testimonial

"Designer Sam Proctor has achieved the impossible, and made water butts sexy! ... This masterpiece sums up what the 'Balcony & Container Gardens' are all about. Yeah, sure they're small, but the well of creativity runs deep. "

Toby Buckland, BBC Gardener's World & RHS Chelsea Flower Show Presenter