Gardening in a changing climate

The changing climate will have a big impact on the way we garden. Read our special report to find out how to make your garden more resilient

Since the 2002 publication of the RHS report looking at the impact of climate change on gardening,
Gardening in a Global Greenhouse, the global climate has undergone dramatic change. 

Today, confidence in global climate models has increased and we now know that extreme weather events are the most likely conditions to be experienced by the UK. The impact of these events, such as flash flooding and periods of drought, is likely to be compounded by increased housing pressure, meaning that gardens will become more critical in providing services formerly delivered by the natural environment – services such as flood alleviation, carbon sequestration and the provision of habitats for wildlife – that will be lost to development.

Updated report

Fifteen years after Gardening in the Global Greenhouse, the RHS launched Gardening in a Changing Climate – an update of the original document – on 26 April 2017. The new report has been written in collaboration with researchers from the University of Sheffield and University of Reading. The report presents the results of an extensive survey of amateur gardeners and interviews with industry professionals.

It highlights the importance of gardens in terms of their interaction with the natural environment and provides recommendations on how gardeners can adapt to climate change through plant choice and garden design. The report also outlines ways in which gardeners can manage their garden to enhance carbon sequestration and flood alleviation.

Report summary

Download full report (5.2MB pd)
Listen to audio recordings from the launch of Gardening in a Changing Climate
Introduction from RHS Director of Science, Alistair Griffiths
Part 1 - Peter Gregory, University of Reading
Part 2 - Eleanor Webster, RHS Climate Scientist 2016-18
Part 3 - Peter Gibbs, Broadcaster and Fellow of the Royal Meteorological Society
Part 4 - Robert Brett, Curator of RHS Garden Hyde Hall
Part 5 - The Baroness Brown of Cambridge, DBE


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The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.