Landgarten von Jutta und Michael Bongers am Niederrhein

The effects of climate change on garden design

Part 1


It is undisputed that climate change has started. The impact on the garden design is in my opinion not yet completely foreseeable, but there are obvious trends. In the last 4 years we ourselves have had some extreme experiences with the whims of the weather and have drawn the first conclusions.

Although we have been the proud owners of a 4,000 m² land garden on the left bank of the Lower Rhine for 13 years now, we really did not realize the effects of climate change until 2016.

Heavy rain and extreme hail in June 2016 have led to massive damage in our garden. More than 300 liters per square meter were in the whole of June, with only the June 1 with more than 100 liters per square meter led to severe flooding in our community (and also in our garden).

After a “normal” summer in 2017, very mild and wet winters followed in 2018 (and so far in 2019), followed by strong east winds and minimal rainfall from April. And always the anxious look up (or on the weather app), if there is storm and thunderstorms.

Roughly summarized, I perceive the following:


  • The extremes of rainfall, dry spells, wind and temperatures are increasing
  • Winter starts later
  • Milder winters
  • Windy spring
  • Dry summers, sometimes with wind
  • Increase in pests and diseases


This has some serious consequences for the local nature and affects farmers, forest farmers and garden owners alike. It also affects the consumption behavior of plants. Since the topic is very complex, I will try to explain in the next contributions topic-related our consequences and measures for our garden.

Note: My contributions do not claim to be scientifically founded, but reflect my personal gardening experiences and perceptions.