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Christian Heitz


Question on water harvesting:
With all these sudden downpours of rain how to stock and use the rainwater to lighten the cost of keeping a well watered garden.

by Christian Heitz on 18 Sep 2008
Elaine Jarvis

This expert is currently inactive and not able to take new questions!


Dear Mr Heitz,

A beautiful garden does not have to increase your water bill.

When you water your garden your bank account is not the only thing to diminish. Increasingly landscapes are putting a burden on the communities’ water table and rationing is becoming a common annual phenomena. However, economising your water does not have to mean depriving your borders.

First water wisely, this means not too little nor too much. New plantations the first year for instance, will require a little extra water but ‘spoiling the baby will ruin the man’ so keep the watering to the strict minimum.

Invest in a rain water gauge and a collector from your roof gutter. It can be a simple wooden barrel, or an attractive terracotta jar. You can write to me at for more detailed hints and tips for recycling, harvesting rain water while creating a more eco-friendly landscape.

I have for many years designed gardens to include sustainable solutions for managing rainwater and drought. Rain gardens can be included in sustainable garden designs as a way of managing flash floods and excessive rainfall.

Essentially, a rain garden is a planted depression that is designed to absorb rainwater runoff from impervious surfaces such as paving and driveways. They are of particular importance in urban garden designs where the proportion of impermeable surface is likely to be higher than in rural areas

It is regrettable that there is no real financial incentive to implement grey water recycling systems at the moment. A part of the problem may be that this technology is quite new; however, as the current water supply system becomes more unreliable with the changing climate, water harvesting will become more of a necessity and less of a luxury.

Act now is my advice!

Best regards


by Elaine Jarvis

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