Use these six expert tips to keep your garden flood and drought resistant

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Changes in weather mean households across the UK need to adapt quickly, and take measures to prevent dried up or flooded gardens.

Heatwaves and droughts coupled with heavy rainfall and flash floods are not a great combination, but the good news is that there are steps you can take to help protect your garden and home.

Hard landscaping experts, Marshalls, have shared the three best ways to drought-proof your garden and three top tips to protect from flooding; to prepare for the UK's unpredictable weather.

To create a drought-tolerant garden;

British gardens are under attack from extreme weatherBritish gardens are under attack from extreme weather
British gardens are under attack from extreme weather

Get a good balance of soft and hard landscaping

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With grass and plants being the biggest drain to your water supply, one of the first things to do in your garden is create a design with a mix of soft and hard landscaping.

Incorporate hardscape spaces like shaded patios with a balance of trees and plants, which serve to provide shade, add moisture to the atmosphere and aid cooling.

Choose drought-tolerant plants

Summer droughts are set to be a feature in the futureSummer droughts are set to be a feature in the future
Summer droughts are set to be a feature in the future

Drought-tolerant plants include succulents, rock garden plants, certain native shrubs and trees, wildflowers and ornamental grasses.

Identify which areas are driest and which get more sun or shade, then group plants together according to their needs - the idea being you only water where necessary.

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Keep plant selections simple - a few varieties can make a big impact with less cost and effort.

Incorporate more native plants

Flash floods can cause great damage to gardens and propertyFlash floods can cause great damage to gardens and property
Flash floods can cause great damage to gardens and property

Some of the most drought-tolerant plants are considered native wild plants in particular regions. These native species have naturally adapted to our soil and climate. They are dismissed as weeds by many, but some are food plants for caterpillars.

Three top tips for creating a flood-tolerant garden

Permeable paving is key

In areas of your garden with paving elements, it's best to incorporate permeable elements over non-permeable ones, to have a garden that can withstand weather conditions.

Permeable paving is designed to allow rainwater to soak through the surface, and into the ground below – so preventing it from entering sewers.

Amend soil composition

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Areas in your garden where vegetation exists are typically natural soils, although the condition and type can vary.

Dry soil decreases the chance of your plants and landscape surviving in extreme weather conditions, but you can improve soil quality by applying a mulch of organic matter, or gravel. This will increase its capacity to retain rainwater in times of drought and stop surface-level evaporation.

Reduce rainwater run-off

If you have a shed or any outbuildings, try adding a green roof to reduce rainwater run-off. It is crucial to check larger roofs can take the weight, but they are an easy DIY project if the roof is suitable. Green roofs boost biodiversity, depending on the planting, (sedums, for example are good) to support our native bees.

Consider rainwater collection. Rainwater should be seen as a resource. You could set up a rain chain from a greenhouse into a container.

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Anna Hampshire, head of marketing at Marshalls said: “As the UK tussles with climate change, we are experiencing record highs of inconsistent weather conditions.

"To keep our gardens healthy, preparation is key. In times of hosepipe bans, consider a rainwater butt, a rain garden planter, or using grey water from baths or showers.”

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