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Water butts and water saving plants

FlowersIt's not just inside the house where you can do your bit to save water.  Using a water butt or plants that require little watering - also known as drought tolerant plants - means you can still enjoy a colourful and vibrant garden even during a prolonged dry spell without having to resort to using sprinklers or hosepipes. 

Find out more about water butts

What makes a plant drought tolerant?

Nature has provided a number of plants with many unique defence mechanisms when faced with hot and try conditions. Plants like thyme have a small overall surface area that helps reduce the amount of moisture that can escape whilst rock roses or 'Cistus' have waxy leaves that act like a seal, holding in the water to help the plant flourish during the hot summer months.

If you see any plants on sale with grey and silver leaves, they would be ideal for the summer border as their colour helps reflect the sun, whilst plants which have hairy leaves are able to trap any moisture that is in the air.

The common pelargonium actually dislikes wet soil and is a great option for pots and hanging baskets that sit in full sun. What's more, they come in a whole host of different colours and and are widely available at many garden centres.

If you do need to water your garden, remember it is better to water early in the morning or late at night when the temperature is cooler to reduce the amount of moisture that evaporates.

Need some inspiration?

We have a number of different drought tolerant plants available to buy that will bring colour and vibrancy to any garden.

Check out our plant selection >   

Rain Water Harvesting

In simple terms it means diverting the rainwater that falls on roofs, or other collection surfaces, of a property to store it usually in an underground tank for later reuse. The captured rainwater is then pumped to flush toilets, to outside taps for garden use and in some cases it can be used for the washing machine with a little additional treatment.

Download our guidance and advice leaflet

Discover Yorkshire gardens

Get a free copy of Welcome to Yorkshire's 'Yorkshire Gardens magazine'.  There are over 60 gardens to choose from including one of the world's largest mazes.

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Other water saving plants

Chelsea Flower ShowIf you can't find what you're looking for on our website, why not look out for these varieties the next time you pop down to your local garden centre?


Mimosa, Silver Birch, Hackberry, Osage Orange, Pagoda  


Pine, Juniper, Cypress


Dusty Miller, Spindle Tree, Bush Cinquefoil, Common Snowberry, Butterfly Bush

Climbers/wall-trained shrubs:

Trumpet Vine, Japanese Honeysuckle, Japanese Wisteria, Rock Cotoneater

Herbaceous Perennials:

Eryngium, Autumn Joy, Verbascum, Euphorbia

Annuals & Bedding:

Calendula, Blue Marguerite, Honesty, Swan River Daisy

Fancy a spot of fishing? You'll be hooked when you find the best places to fish around our reservoirs.

Leisure - Fishing

Need help finding your water meter? Think you have low water pressure? Our 'how to' guides will help you out with those hard to solve problems!

How to Guides

An average rooftop collects about 85,000 litres of water every year! Find out about garden water butts.

Water Butts