Leading article: Let the desert bloom

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The last weekend in March, as we wait for our delayed spring, might seem rather early to start planning for the summer. But already the hosepipe ban in the south-east of England has had one unanticipated effect. The Royal Horticultural Society is to impose a voluntary ban on the use of hoses at the Chelsea Flower Show. In accord with the dictum that one gardener's drought is another's opportunity, this year's show will feature displays that require little water.

Within a stone's throw of the Thames, the hose-free desert of SW3 will be coaxed into life with displays of cacti. Not to be outdone in the social responsibility stakes, the City of London is going easy on the hanging baskets and is planting olive trees where once thirstier shrubs might have been preferred. We await with impatience the first pressing of City olive oil, while confidently forecasting two weeks of non-stop rain as the cacti settle into their new Chelsea home.

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