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Chelsea’s flood resilient garden to take root in Oxfordshire

19 April 2024
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Garden designers Dr Ed Barsley and Naomi Slade at Howbery Business Park

A flood resilient garden is to be permanently rehomed after this year’s Chelsea Flower Show to the grounds of Howbery Business Park in Oxfordshire, subject to planning approval.

Howbery is a fitting venue for the Flood Re: Flood Resilient Garden because the park is owned by HR Wallingford, an organisation that helps develop resilient approaches to flooding.

The aim is open the garden up to visitors, free of charge, at its Oxfordshire home from Spring 2025.

HR Wallingford and garden sponsors Flood Re, an insurance industry initiative that helps households at risk of flooding, say that embedding the garden at Howbery will offer many people the chance to enjoy and benefit from it.

For this year’s Flower Show, environmental designer Dr Ed Barsley and celebrity gardener Naomi Slade are designing a space to show how domestic gardens can recover quickly after periods of heavy rainfall.

They hope to inspire visitors with ideas to floodproof their own green spaces, as well as to use sustainable and recycled materials.

The garden will then be adapted from the show to fit into the Howbery Park space. This design will be released later in the year and the team hope the reimagined garden will be installed late autumn.

Andy Brown, director at HR Wallingford, said: “We’re delighted that Flood Re has chosen us for the garden’s permanent home.

“We help people live and work sustainably with water, and this garden is not only a great example of how to bring sustainability to life, but also aligns with our work on sustainable urban drainage systems and flood resilience.

“The garden will also further enhance our already lovely Howbery Park grounds.”

Flood Re CEO Andy Bord added: “We’re thrilled that our Flood Resilient Garden will find its forever home at Howbery Park alongside HR Wallingford and the National Flood School.

“The garden will not only be a beautiful space for everyone to enjoy for years to come, but will offer a tangible example of how to create a beautiful outside space that is also flood resilient.”


Born and raised in Berkshire, Dan fell into journalism after completing his bachelor’s degree in English at UCL.

Writing for The Business Magazine and local Biz News sites has given him the opportunity to chat with all manner of small business owners and share their success stories with a wider audience.

Outside of work, Dan enjoys live music, board games and quiz shows, and is making a slow but persistent effort to learn Spanish.

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