A Guide to Garden Irrigation Systems

Water is the source of life for our gardens. It provides essential nutrients to our plants and flowers, whilst also helping maintain luscious green grass during parched hot humid summer heatwaves. Garden irrigation systems ensure plants are kept regularly watered and quenched at all times, preventing wilting and petals turning to crisp in dry seasons.

When working on any garden project, our GL experts ensure irrigation forms part of the overall garden design. Irrigation is very important in the first few years a garden is planted, planting smaller plants and letting them grow whilst actively watering them throughout the season is key. Whether you have bedded in small or large plants, the extreme seasons may lead to periods of drought which can’t be serviced by a hose resulting in loss of plants.  Having to replace plants can far outweigh the cost of irrigation, so it’s key to think ahead and consider irrigation as part of any garden design.

Computer Controlled

There are many different types of irrigation to choose from, each method needs to be considered to find the right one suitable for you and your garden. Smart computer controlled devices sit alongside water outlets affixed to each tap. Here you can programme in the frequency and volume of water to feed your plants and flowers.  It’s important to bear in mind that different areas of your garden may require varying volumes of water due to soil types, landscaping or hardiness of plants. Succulent plants like aloe vera store water in their fleshy stems so won’t need as frequent watering as newly bedded in plants. Intelligent technological systems are on hand if unsure how much water a plant or flowering border needs to flourish and bloom. These smart devices alert you when to water, so you can rest assured your plants are hydrated sufficiently at all times.

Timer controlled

Timer controlled devices can be added to sprinklers, misters and dripper systems, perfect for those times you are away from home. These can be connected to rainwater butts or other water recycling containers so you can save water bills and recycle at the same time. A great eco-friendly way to feed your garden and give your plants the goodness of natural rainwater, set at scheduled times as and when your plants need.

Drip Feed Irrigation

Whilst it is satisfying to see sprinklers and misters jet water theatrically on to petal leaves and bedding plants, one irrigation method feeds water direct to the roots. Leaky hose drip feed irrigation systems consists of lengths of pipes laid on to the surface of the soil. These rough textured pipes are pinned to the ground in zig-zag fashion amongst plants. Mulch and compost can be laid over the pipes so they are hidden and invisible to the eye. Water is distributed by little perforations which dispense water at set times, hence the name ‘leaky hose’.  Mini computers at the water source are programmed so your garden is watered at the best times for your plants. Feeding your plants this way ensures foliage and flowers are not weighed down by droplets of water on the surface of plants. When water rests on petals and leaves from sprinklers or misters, water evaporates in to the atmosphere taking water away from your plants. Leaky hose systems can be seen as a more cost effective irrigation system, saving you the cost of having to replace plants which have suffered the consequences of heat and dehydration.

Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems

Whilst water helps feed and maintain our gardens, adverse periods of torrential rain or storms can cause flash floods.  Increasing urbanisation leads to areas of vegetation replaced with concrete and other impervious surfaces.  These surfaces are unable to absorb the excess rainwater whilst drains and ditches become overloaded which leads to flooding. Storm proofing and installing reliable drainage systems gives you peace of mind so excess rainwater will not cause any issues but instead rerouting rainwater where needed or drained safely away.

An eco friendly drainage system is SuDs (Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems), reducing the environmental impact of how surface water is drained away. Replicating drainage patterns of natural systems, SuDs collects, stores and cleans water. This allows it to be released back in to the natural environment reducing the rate of rainwater run off. SuDs are increasingly required components of new developments but can also be retro-fitted in to existing sites.

Graduate Landscapes can provide a wide variety of irrigation and drainage solutions for any garden project large or small. Contact our design team to see how we can help transform your gardens and not waste one little drop of the all important H20!