Gardening In a Changing Climate

Gardening In a Changing Climate

There has never been a more worrying time for the classic English country garden.  The climate is presenting new challenges to gardeners all the time. Unpredictable temperatures and a lack of rainfall this winter means that this summer parts of the UK are facing a hosepipe ban. If you are looking for ways to create a beautiful and sustainable garden in an unpredictable climate then here are some hints and tips that could help.

A great way of helping the environment is to turn your garden into a space that will help to grow and maintain healthy natural ecosystems. This may sound like a daunting task but in actual fact it is simpler than you may think. Firstly, instead of limiting yourself to just a few plants, try instead growing a wide range of fruits and vegetables as well as ornamental plants.

Now, it is clear that the lawn is the pride and joy of many an Englishman but few people realise that they do very little to help any ecosystem.

As well as often requiring chemicals to flourish, lawn mowers also high amounts of greenhouse gases which only add to the long term effects of global warming.  Replacing a grass lawn with native wild flowers, bushes and trees will help to provide food shelter and cover that will encourage life to flourish.

Another thing to do is to be extremely conscious of what materials you are bringing in to your garden. If you are thinking of buying anything structural such as fencing and garden furniture you should always try to bear in mind where the wood comes from. A great way around providing wooden structures in your garden is to use reclaimed railway sleepers.

Using wooden sleepers is a great way to recycle wood and it also gives the garden a great rustic look. They can be used to create a whole range of structures, such as raised flower beds, patio furniture and sandpits and they make great garden dividers.  They are also incredibly durable and will last as long as you need them for without needing further treatment.

Another innovative use of recycled materials has come about recently in the form of rubber mulch made from shredded tyres. Unlike mulch made from bark the rubber does not break down and disappear into the soil. It also does not hold onto vital rainwater which is an extremely important consideration at the moment. It also has the added benefit of acting as an excellent frost protector in winter and a temperature stabiliser in the summer.  It can also come in a range of different colours as can be coloured with an organic pigment which makes it a great addition to a garden, flower bed or play area.

There are also different ways of garden landscaping coming into play in the UK which have previously been used in hot and dry areas such as the west coast of the US. Xeriscaping is an approach to landscaping that minimises outdoor water use but still maintains the integrity of the soil. They key to xeriscaping is to use drought tolerant plants. The key is to find plants that fit with the climate in your garden which will make them use only the appropriate amount of water which will in turn make them low maintenance for you. Xeriscaping projects also often use rock and stone features which help to fill the space up with interesting shapes and textures and minimises the amount of plant life that requires water.

So whether you are looking to save water, create a flourishing ecosystem in your garden or simply become more conscious about where you source materials from for your garden remember that all of the tools you need are out there, you just need to figure out the best way to us them .

For more information about using railway sleepers in your garden then visit

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