How your garden can help beat climate change

You may have noticed that our seasons are becoming confused and increasingly unpredictable. If you have a garden you will regularly observe the effects of unseasonal and extreme weather on plants and wildlife. The good news is that your garden can help to combat these changes – particularly if they are in the city as gardens now account for almost half of the UK’s urban green space.

The RHS is promoting the ways in which our gardens help keep the planet green and healthy.They have sent a strong message to Britain’s gardeners that the humble urban backyard plays a vital environmental and ecological role in our present and future lives. Keen horticulturalists have always suspected this is true, but for the first time, the RHS has brought together all the published evidence in a scientific review entitled Gardening Matters: Urban Gardens. This invaluable document covers  key areas major concern as cities expand and the global climate shifts including:

What is the value of gardens in urban areas?  Do gardens sustain our cities?

To establish the facts, the RHS scientists undertook an examination of all the available evidence from published research around the world reveal the remarkable depth and range of benefits that gardens provide in urban areas. Here is a brief summary of four key areas in which our gardens can also make a difference to our changing climate:

* They help control urban temperatures, mitigating the effects of extreme heat and cold.

* They prevent flooding by absorbing rainwater that would otherwise overload drainage systems.

*They have effectively become some of Britain’s best nature reserves, supporting a range of wildlife including birds, mammals and invertebrates.

*They support human health by easing stress and providing physical exercise

The full report makes for very interesting reading and highlights how the RHS is determinated to help gardeners adapt to changing environments and climatic conditions both now and in the future. http://www.rhs.org.uk/science/pdf/climate-and-sustainability/urban-greening/gardening-matters-urban-greening

Gardens are one of the most precious legacies that we can leave for future generations.Time to prepare our gardens and the young people who will manage these gardens in the future for uncertain climatic conditions. 998496_10152149818309838_1990857675_n

This post was written by:

- who has written 863 posts on My Climate Change Garden.

I am not an experienced gardener - more of an enthusiastic amateur who learns by trial and error and is keen to "manage" the effects of the weather on my garden. Writing this blog is my passion and I hope that it will continue to grow, allowing global gardeners to communicate about the effects of climate change on our plants and the future of our gardens.

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4 Comments For This Post

  1. AmyLynn Says:

    I’m using your blog post in my classroom today! We are beginning our garden and I wanted to show how we can connect everyday tasks to the topic of climate change. Thanks! 🙂

  2. David Carey Says:

    Hi, very nice blog page, thank you !

    The RHS website is quite clear that although our gardens have the potential to be very positive for coping with climate change, they may themselves contribute to it by our gardening activities and associated purchases contributing to Carbon Dioxide (and other Greenhouse Gas) Emissions.

    They emphasise the importance of lawns – left alone and just cut they are good – when fertilised and “pesticided” they are terrible C sources!

    I know you garden sustainably – its the importance of the majority of people doing the same that bothers me a bit. Still, much better than concreting the whole area over !!

    Best wishes,

    David

  3. Paul Jones Says:

    Brilliant post Debbie- If only more people realised how something as simple as gardening can have such a positive impact. You don’t have to be experienced and on a great day, looking after your garden and planting flowers etc is a wonderfully enjoyable thing to do- more of us need to get involved and @AmyLynn- its wonderful that young children are being taught this!

  4. Debbie Says:

    Thanks for your enthusiasm David and compliments about my blog. Agree totally with your thoughts on lawns – always amazed that as soon as we get some lovely spring weather in the UK, the sound of lawnmowers seems to spoil the joy of the birdsong. Leave mine to grow wild for few weeks with the daisies making the garden feel that bit more natural – insects love it too. The English are obsessed with controlling everything in the garden and the final word is always with nature – and the weather of course! Keep in touch. Best Deborah

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