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Gardening summer of discontent

Posted Sep 09 2012 3:55pm

Relive the highs and lows of Summer 2012 and remember how your garden suffered and survived the roller coaster weather conditions in this excellent article:

Many gardeners are saying that 2012 weather ranks among  the most challenging ever. Suggestions are that as climate change takes hold the UK will continue to experience confused seasons and extreme weather conditions that will  force the traditional English garden to adapt and prepare for an uncertain climatic future.

So what of the future?  

“We will have to be more ecologically sensitive, adapting what we grow and how and where we grow it. Gardeners of old knew how to manipulate microclimate and also use valuable natural resources such as soil, composted garden waste and rainwater to best effect. Selecting the right plant for the right place, growing it naturally, without over-dependence on fertilisers, is an important maxim.

Healthy plants in tune with conditions are also more pest- and disease-resistant. “Maybe our gardens are suffering from a kind of obesity epidemic and now need a healthier regime to make them fitter for the future,” says ecologist and planting designer Professor Nigel Dunnett of the University of Sheffield.

Managing rainwater is also important. This is not just about collecting water in butts, but looking at how storm water and run-off can be controlled, stored and used in the garden, to support us in dry times, rather than all being funnelled down the drain.

“I like the idea of using landscape, soils and plants to capture, clean, store and release rainwater, so we can better manage our urban areas,” says Prof Dunnett, a leading advocate of rain gardening. With so many ways for gardening to be a powerful force for future good, wet or dry, which deity would not say “Amen” to that. ”

 

 

 

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