Bananas grow in National Trust garden of the future

The apple orchards have been replaced with orange groves, the turf covered over with gravel and the summer borders replanted with cacti.

The UK’s most important gardens are to be examined by the National Trust to see which plants are under threat from climate change. They will take an inventory of 80 prestigious gardens to decide which plants need to be propagated with new vigorous stock. A long – term plan is also being created which looks at moving at-risk plants to more suitable locations in the same garden, such as shadier or damper corners, or to other local sites or even further afield to protect prize specimens if required.

This is excellent news and shows how organisations like the National Trust are responding in such a practical way to climate change. Their actions will serve as an example of how to manage our own gardens.The Trust has many thousands of members and, together with the RHS, has a strong influence on horticulture policy and planning in the UK. Mike Calnan, the National Trust’s Head of Gardens and Parks, explained that predictions contained in their latest report were based on computer models generated by the Met Office Hadley Centre.

‘We looked at gardens in southern France and southern Portugal and, bearing in mind what we can grow in this country in mild locations, we came up with a list of probably things we could grow in the future,’ he said.

‘Gardeners will be able to grow Mediterranean and Chilean plans, but in the countryside the native plants might not adapt well to climate change, depending on how rapid it is.

‘All of this is unknown and there are a lot of ifs and coulds. We are not saying that this is what the future will look like, but we are asking whether it could look like this. It is a bit of an eye opener.’

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I am particularly pleased to read that as well as examining the plants in these 80 gardens, the Trust is also introducing eco-measures such as rainwater harvesting, “green” heating systems for greenhouses and composting facilities.

New plants such as bananas could become a common sight in many National Trust gardens if predictions about rising temperatures prove correct.Here is an impressive mini banana plantation I photographed in Cornwall last summer at the glorious Trebah Gardens


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- who has written 872 posts on My Climate Change Garden.

I am not an experienced gardener - more of an enthusiastic amateur who learns by trial and error and who is keen to "manage" the effects of shifting weather patterns on my garden. Writing this blog is my passion and it has evolved over 12 years to inspire engagement with climate change outside our back doors, in our personal gardens and green spaces. My mission is to fertilise and expand this platform to grow a community of global gardeners communicating about the effects of climate change on our plants and exploring how each individual can make small changes in our lives to become more sustainable. The future of our gardens and #OurPlanet is in our hands - please plant your own seeds for our collective sustainable future.

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