Landgarten von Jutta und Michael Bongers am Niederrhein

The effects of climate change on garden design – part 5

Increase in extremes of rainfall, dry spells, wind and temperatures

Certainly the most difficult side effects of climate change are the violent fluctuations – in both directions – in precipitation, temperatures, wind and dry periods. The incalculability and powerlessness in the face of these weather extremes make it almost impossible to create a modified recipe for the garden planning.

  • Mild winters on one side – late frosts in April / May on expelled shrubs and woody plants on the other side
  • Dry periods in the summer like in 2018 and 2019 or floods like in 2016
  • Hail, tornadoes, gale gusts
  • Record temperatures in July 2018 and 2019 with over 42 degrees

There are, in my view, some winners and some losers in the plant sector.

We always try to give the plants the optimal location in our garden. And if that is not possible, we will then consequently separate these plants.

A very good example is our terrace area which is south facing. Directly on the clinker wall temperatures in the summer arise up to 50 degrees. In addition, the clinker stores the heat and also releases it at night. The at the wall planted – normally very robust – rambler rose “Sanders White” fought for several years with rust and mildew. The old buxus balls standing directly along the terrace path had to fight and suffer unbelievably under the infestation pressure of the fungus infection Cylindrocladium buxicola.

Therefore, we exchanged this year the Rambler rose for a Wisteria and the buxus for taxus.

In this way we proceed in the whole garden. Very sun-sensitive and plants such for example Hosta, Brunnera and Hydrangea Annabell are reduced in variety and consistently transferred in the part shade or shade.

Sun loving and insect friendly perennials such as Persicaria, Agastache, Nepetha, Calamintha and Echinacea we apply more.

The beauty of gardening is that there are always new challenges to be mastered. And if the success then sets in, this is even more so.

Here ends my little report on climate change in the garden. Again my note that these are my own conclusions.