With temperatures and levels of pollution on the rise, plants can help gardens and gardeners thrive in changing times.
This might seem like a daunting prospect, but the good news for gardeners is that there are steps we can take at a local level to help ease the effects of these big issues.
While we can use drought-tolerant plants to cope in raised temperatures, the long-term solution lies in reducing the heat. Some plants have been proven to actively improve the microclimate of a garden and surrounding buildings. For example, plants like jasmine, ivy and viburnum are able to cool a building by between 7-14ºC. Plants can also trap pollution by absorbing particulate matter. Conifers have been found to be especially good at this due to their smaller leaf size and shape.
On top of this, the more ecologically resilient we can make our gardens with increased planting, the better they will serve us as places to relax, reduce stress and improve our mental well-being.
More plants for specific growing conditions:
Take a look at our pick of key plants for gardens in a changing climate.
For waterlogged soil
For cooling walls
Ivy, cherry laurel (Prunus laurocerasus), Viburnum.
For filtering noise
For contaminated soil
Box, Photinia, beech, spindle, hornbeam, laurel, firethorn.