Traditional British garden threatened by extreme heat, says RHS | Climate crisis

The traditional British garden is under threat from extreme heat, the Royal Horticultural Society has said, as it launches an investigation to examine the damage caused by this week’s heat wave.

It is likely that in the future delicate flowers such as roses and poppies will have to be replaced by more heat-resistant plants such as salvias and dahlias.

Many will have noticed their potted plants and prized garden flowers wilting and wilting in the record heat, which hit 40.3C (104.5F) in Lincolnshire on Tuesday. Due to the climate crisis, temperatures like this are likely to occur more frequently.

This means people are going to have to start thinking about what and when to plant in their gardens, which may mean that the traditional British garden will no longer exist.

The RHS is asking its thousands of members, and any other interested gardeners, to tell them how the heat wave has affected their gardens. They are asked to note damaged plants, their known previous condition and when they were last planted and mulched, in an effort to help the ERS advise plants to grow in future years.

Heat damage usually doesn’t set in until about a week after a hot weather event, so the horticulture charity is bracing for a flood of calls next week. However, there are already reports of acers and hydrangeas suffering. Signs of heat damage include brown, crusty leaves, and plants can be saved by watering the roots and shading if the problem is detected early enough. For many plants it will be too late, so the RHS says they should be composted and turned into mulch.

Leigh Hunt, Senior Adviser at RHS, said: “Extreme weather could be a catalyst for change in what we consider a traditional British garden. For many years gardeners have dabbled in more sun-loving, drought-tolerant plants in their gardens, but summer 2022 and the predicted damage it will cause to some favorites could see a more permanent move towards plants that can cope with both extreme humidity and dryness.

Not only that, but shortly after the heat wave, it’s likely we’ll experience a “false autumn”, with heavy rain and lower temperatures before it warms up again, confusing plants and causing damage. .

This means that gardeners should choose plants that can handle both droughts and colder, wetter conditions.

Hunt said: “In the coming weeks, we expect a false autumn – in which heat-stressed plants lose their leaves early or turn red or brown.

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“For those experiencing plant loss this year, we would not recommend replacing similar plants and instead choosing plants that will handle warmer conditions, won’t need watering this summer, and will stand up to tougher weather. long wet conditions in winter.Examples include Burning Daylight Daylily, Eulalia Kleine Fontäne and Geranium.

Heat-loving plants are already enjoying increased popularity in the UK after a series of hot summers and fears of damaging more delicate flowers.

These include cannas, salvias and dahlias. Salvias are particularly popular and are the most viewed plant profile on the RHS website.

Plants we risk losing from the UK garden include roses, which fade faster in the heat. Leafy lettuces tend to bolt and bolt in hot weather, and flowers, including poppies and calendula, also bolt faster.

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