Hosepipe bans: what you need to know
Two words to strike fear into the heart of any gardener are 'hosepipe' and 'ban'. But if you're unlucky enough to be in an area where a ban is announced, it needn't be the end of your gardening fun.
Each water area's rules for hosepipe bans are different, so check your local company's website to make sure you know what's allowed and what's not. Generally, watering your garden using an ordinary hosepipe is forbidden: so is cleaning paths and patios with a hose, or filling swimming pools, paddling pools or ponds unless you're using containers filled from a tap.
However many water companies now allow leaky hoses – those pipes with tiny holes in them, laid along the ground to drip water right by your plants so hardly any evaporates.
. Our garden centre in Nottingham staff can help with other water-saving measures you can take to beat the ban, so feel free to ask their advice.