Gardening in a challenging climate

Hear from our Spring Fair College Competitions mentor, Cherry Carmen on how to tackle the changes in our climate when it comes to working on your own plot. 

Hardly a day passes without a climate change story making headlines in the news. The scale of the problem can often feel overwhelming, leaving many of us feeling helpless. With extended growing seasons, extreme weather events, and the emergence of new pests and diseases, our gardens are not immune to these changes. It’s becoming increasingly important for us to cultivate a sense of responsibility towards our environment. 

So, how can we continue to garden while considering our impact on the planet and implementing strategies to combat climate change? 

Let’s reframe this challenge as an opportunity! Here are five easy tips to help you garden sustainably and adapt to our changing climate:

Cherry Carmen

Practice the 4 R’s

Reduce

Start by reducing waste in your garden. Minimise the use of plastic pots and instead opt for biodegradable alternatives.

Reuse

Look for innovative ways to reuse household items in your garden. For instance, old containers can be repurposed as planters, and broken ceramic pieces can be used to create unique mosaic pathways.

Recycle

Embrace recycling in your garden by composting kitchen scraps and yard waste to create nutrient-rich soil for your plants. Additionally, consider using recycled materials such as reclaimed wood or metal for garden structures and decorations.

Reinvest

Invest in sustainable gardening practices such as water-saving irrigation systems, renewable energy sources like solar-powered lights, and eco-friendly pest control methods. This not only reduces your environmental footprint but also saves you money in the long run.

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Adapt your garden ‘issue’ into a design feature

Instead of fighting against a boggy garden, embrace it by creating a rain garden. Harvest rainwater using barrels or a rain garden system and channel it to low-lying areas of your garden. Plant water-loving species like cattails, ferns, and irises to create a beautiful and functional rain garden that helps mitigate water runoff and promotes biodiversity.

Transform dry areas of your garden into stunning rock gardens. Use rocks, gravel, and drought-tolerant plants like succulents, lavender, and yucca to create a low-maintenance and water-wise landscape that thrives in arid conditions.

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Take advantage of the longer growing season

With climate change leading to longer growing seasons, expand your plant palette to include a wider variety of ornamental and edible plants. Consider growing exotic fruits, tropical flowers, and heat-loving vegetables that were once difficult to cultivate in your region.

Experiment with different plant varieties and explore new gardening techniques to make the most of the extended growing season.

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Encourage pollinators

Create a pollinator-friendly garden by planting a diverse range of native and non-native flowering plants. Aim for a succession of blooms throughout the growing season to provide food and habitat for bees, butterflies, and other pollinating insects.

Include a mix of annuals, perennials, and flowering shrubs with different shapes, colours, and scents to attract a wide variety of pollinators to your garden.

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Install a green roof

Transform the roof of your home or garden structure into a green oasis by installing a green roof. Green roofs consist of a layer of vegetation planted over a waterproofing membrane and provide numerous environmental benefits.

They help reduce heat absorption, improve air quality, and absorb rainwater, thereby minimising runoff and reducing the risk of flooding. Additionally, green roofs provide habitat for birds and insects and create a beautiful and eco-friendly addition to your property.

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New year, new garden, new trends!

We’re through the garden gate into 2023, with a host of gardening trends blooming throughout the country. From house plants reaching dizzying heights of popularity, to the colour of the year ‘Viva Magenta’, read on for our full list of trends.

To get up close and personal with fresh garden inspiration, new plants, the latest gardening kit and more, join us in 2023.

Colour of the Year 2023

Hand-picked by Pantone, the colour of the year has been named as ‘Viva Magenta. 

Pantone describe the colour as ‘brave and fearless, and a pulsating colour whose exuberance promotes a joyous and optimistic celebration, writing a new narrative.’

Discover a world of colour and scent in the stunning Floral Marquee,  bursting with award-winning nurseries and display.

Sustainable gardening

Whilst your garden might seem to already be very green, it can always be greener!

Discover ways you can make gardening more sustainable, like upcycling common items to make stylish features. What was a pallet, hessian bags, bits of pipe, and tin cans, could become a planter, grow bags, water features, and wildlife habitats.

Be inspired by the BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine editorial team as they’re joined by experts to give tips and advice.

Grow your own food

Looking to go from soil to supper this year? Get brilliant advice from the National Allotment Society at the event.

Peat-free gardening

Learn about the latest peat-free compost from exhibitors who can offer face-to-face advice.

Indoor gardening

Foliage doesn’t just belong outside – bring nature indoors and be inspired by the Houseplant Hub.

Mindful gardening

Beautiful Borders returns with this year’s theme ‘My Garden Escape’ to give you space savvy ideas.

Gardening on a budget

Discover different ways you can let your garden bloom under a tighter budget, with advice from expert gardeners.

Fermented foods

Visit the BBC Good Food Summer Show (with free entry with your ticket!) and discover the latest foodie trends.

Feeling inspired? Find out what else is happening at BBC Gardeners’ World Live this June!