John Lewis rain garden unveiled

by Alice Wright

A rain garden created by London Olympic Park designer Nigel Dunnett will be unveiled in Victoria, London today.

The garden, which is outside the John Lewis Partnership’s head office, has been designed to tackle surface water flooding and help pollinators.

Nigel said: “Rain gardens are one of the most exciting concepts in landscape architecture and garden design. They are small-scale designed features that capture rainwater runoff from buildings, pavements and other hard surfaces, and which then temporarily store, clean and slowly release that water back into the soil or drainage system, using the power of plants and soils.

“They have great potential for creating beautiful, multifunctional landscapes, rich in biodiversity, in even the most built-up of urban areas.”

More than 30 plant species have been selected for their attractiveness to pollinators and for being able to cope with the UK’s changing climate. They include Rudbeckia, Kniphofias and Asters.

The John Lewis Rain Garden is the result of a collaboration between the John Lewis Partnership and the Victoria Business Improvement District (BID). Working with Westminster City Council they have transformed the 75 square metre, formerly cobbled, site into a new green space that can be enjoyed by everyone using the street, as well as visitors and staff entering the head office.

Ruth Duston, Chief Executive Victoria BID said: “Victoria has been prone to disruptive surface water flooding in recent years, and this initiative developed by the Victoria Business Improvement District working with the John Lewis Partnership marks a new business partnership in creating vital green infrastructure in the area – a strategic objective of the Victoria BID.”

The project received funding and support from the Mayor of London’s Greening the BIDs project and Natural England via the Cross River Partnership regeneration agency.

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