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RHS Garden for a Changing Climate

Visitors can walk through this garden and learn how the changing climate in the next 100 years might change how we design and plant our gardens

Feature Garden

Did you know...

  • This RHS feature garden displays a clear contrast between present day gardens and what gardens might look like in the future
  • Although the changes might vary around the country, many common aspects are considered, from water conservation, reducing the effects of wind damage and creating welcome shade in summer
  • Water collection, direction and storage are key features in the garden suggesting how water management will be of key importance
  • Hard landscaping is also considered showing a range of permeable paving options

About the Garden 

The Garden for a Changing Climate presents two scenarios for a small suburban garden: ‘now’ and the ‘future’ when our weather will become increasingly warmer and drier in summer, but also more turbulent with intense, sometimes unpredictable heavy showers.
 
The garden has been designed to create flexible spaces that encourage people to spend more time in their garden and to take advantage of milder winters. For example, a canopy can quickly be erected to provide shelter in the event of an unanticipated downpour. The canopy captures rainwater and directs it to storage tanks/ponds that can be used in times of drought.
 
The boundary has been reconfigured to create a stronger, more robust edge that is resilient to wind and creates interesting niches for social gathering as well as supporting climbing plants. Changes to building regulations demand that the garden is used to control the release and treatment of rainfall to help prevent urban flooding; so there is increased use of permeable surfaces, bioremediation, as well as water capture and storage facilities. Recycled aggregates and a porous pavement direct water to a shared, community wetland. Finally, to protect some of the newer, more sensitive plants in the event of a sudden change in the weather, innovative glass structures are introduced to afford temporary shelter.

Read more about this garden, including an interview with its designers.

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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.