May 18, 2009 / 7:28 PM / 8 years ago

Gardeners pedal to keep water flowing at Chelsea

LONDON (Reuters) - An experimental garden that uses exercise bikes to water plants is about to make the gentle art of gardening much sweatier, its designers said on Monday.

The water-recycling garden, on display at Britain's Chelsea Flower Show, features two static training bikes that pump water to plants -- as long as someone is there to do the pedaling.

"We are going to have people cycling on the bikes throughout the show," Gerardine Hemingway, who designed the garden with her husband Wayne, told Reuters at the world famous show in west London.

The garden was designed to promote a healthy lifestyle and the sustainable use of water by encouraging those who use it to think about where irrigation water comes from, she said.

At the show, designers sat side by side on bikes and pedaled to pump water along a circuit which irrigates a vegetable and fruit garden. Excess water flowed to a storage tank below the surface, ready to be pumped again.

The garden, which cost between 40- 50,000 pounds ($61,000) to build, features a "living wall" made of vegetables and fruits including pak choi and strawberries.

After the show, it will be transported to a community park in the town of Gateshead, northeast England.

Hemingway said children from the Gateshead community helped design and decorate the garden.

"The idea is to get the community involved in the creation of the garden so when it goes back to its permanent site in Gateshead they get full ownership over it," Hemingway said.

Editing by Richard Balmforth

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