Mike Burks, managing director of The Gardens Group, in front of a 50,000-litre water tank, which was installed at Castle Gardens in Sherborne, Dorset in 2022 and connected to a Victorian plumbing system underneath the garden centre.


Following the high levels of rainfall seen this winter we want to encourage gardeners across the region and beyond to harvest rainwater at home. There are many methods of collecting rainwater at home, so we feel hopeful that anyone with a garden or outdoor space can be part of the solution to reduce flooding, protect wildlife habitats and minimise their own mains water consumption.

Water harvesting is a great example of how gardening can be a force for good when it comes to looking after our planet. You don’t need a huge, sophisticated water collection system that collects thousands of litres or even lots of space. If 100 more homes had a water butt enabling them to collect 210 litres of water each that’s 21,000 less litres less hitting our roads, fields and rivers.

It is becoming more apparent how important it is for us all to take responsibility for our own patch of this planet and this is one small step that can be achieved no matter your gardening experience. It’s much better-quality water for our plants, making for healthier growth and as there aren’t any chemicals added, its better for the soil too. So, if we can get into the habit of collecting rainwater when it’s abundant, our gardens and wildlife will thank us when water becomes scarcer in the warmer and drier months.

When it comes to implementing water collection at home, there are many options, including purpose-made water butts, which come in a variety of sizes from 100-litres to 13,000-litres and can be connected to gutters and hosepipes. For a more homemade approach, durable items from the home, such as milk cartons or plastic bottles, can be repurposed and attached to windows, fences and balconies.