Weather cycles and cycads

Yesterday marked the end of a rather mixed bag of weather for July in the UK – not the welcome heatwave we were all expecting.

I have given up listening to the forecasters – they always seems to get it wrong for Eastbourne which appears to have its own wonderful micro-climate. Often it is the only place in East Sussex with no rain when the regional weather map the night before was dotted with those little black clouds.

This is why the tropical and exotic plants along the seafront do well and always look attractive .They create  a mediterranean or tropical scene – especially when we have a day of glorious sunshine like yesterday.


The  size of these plants is very impressive when you think they stay out on the sea front in all types of weather cycles – rain, hail and even snow last winter. This proves that palms, agaves and other tropical plants can survive our changing British climate as long as you take advice when choosing your plants. The best place to do this is from one of the specialist nurseries that know the limit of these plants well. If you live on the South Coast I would definitely suggest Athela Plants – who offer a very personal service and have tried and tested the plants they stock to check the limits of their hardiness. The nursery is located in the beautiful Sussex countryside, in the delightful village of Hooe between Eastbourne and Hooe – well worth a day trip from London or check on line for mail order delivery at

One of my favourite tropical plants that has put on some spectacular growth during July is my cycad.I have nurtured and adored it for 5 years and watch every little development as these are very slow growing plants. To my delight it has just developed a round of wonderful new spiky leaves.

Cycads are claimed to be the oldest living plant, an ancient family that has changed little since the days of the dinosaurs, and that predates flowering plants.They can live for around 500 years and Kew Gardens has one of the oldest known specimens – still surviving in a pot.

This is a great way to display cycads as they are onlyhardy to around -5c and will need to be brought in for protection if we have very cold temperatures. In the Mediterranean I have seen them growing out of lawns which l makes mowing rather a challenge.

cycads in lawn


Find out more about these fascinating plants on my plant pages:

buy your own

useful information about how to look after cycads

This post was written by:

- 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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