Traditional plants, such as Tulipa, Allium and Aster may have to be planted in raised beds in order for them to survive increased rainfall. The extra height will lift their roots clear of the water table.
Gardeners experiencing higher temperatures may have turn to heat-loving plants, such as Aloe or Lavandula (lavender). One major causality of the changing climate is likely to be the lush, green lawn, which may be converted to dry meadows as pressure on water supplies increases.
Gardeners lack knowledge to adapt
The report includes the findings of a survey of more than 1,000 gardeners about the implications of climate change on the way they garden. It found that only 2% of gardeners feel that they have the knowledge to adapt to a changing climate.
The majority of respondents said they were concerned about the general effects of climate change and whether they will still be able to grow their favourite plants. The introduction of new pests and diseases due to the changing climate was the greatest concern after drought and waterlogging.
As a result of perceived climate change approximately half of respondents have changed gardening practices and 79% of people are paying more attention to the climate.
‘The threat to our gardens and green spaces from climate change is very real and is happening now. It is vitally important that gardeners have the information they will need to confront and adapt to the new challenges and that policy makers prioritise the importance of maintaining green spaces.’
DR ELEANOR WEBSTER
RHS climate scientist and report co-author
The Northampton divide
The report authors believe the combination of increasing temperatures and rainfall in the north may be extending the growing season, whereas the extent to which the growing season can extend in the southern regions is limited by an increasingly dry climate.
Based on average temperature and precipitation maps, Northampton appears to be roughly located on the boundary between the warmer and drier south of England and the cooler and wetter north.
Survey findings indicate that gardeners in Northampton are mowing their lawns more often in early spring and late autumn (possibly as a result of an extended growing season) in comparison with those living further south.
The extension of the growing season north of Northampton could mean that northern gardeners will be able to grow a wider variety of plants that would have previously struggled to survive in the region, including Canna (a tender perennial summer bedding plant that produces bold leaves and showy flowers in shades of red, orange, yellows and pinks).
Click here to read the full report, Gardening in a Changing Climate.