Who Wins and Who Loses With the Rise of Climate Change Gardens?

Posted by:Andy Rose Posted on:11 June 2022 Comments:0

It is only natural for gardening blogs and magazines to recommend various drought-tolerant plants after experiencing high temperatures with very little rain. However, this begs the question: is this the right way to go about it?

With the unstable state of the climate, I cannot help but wonder if it is appropriate to fill my garden with drought-tolerant plants. In my opinion, the transition period to warmer temperatures has made the situation all the more complex. After all, climate change is not exactly gradual and involves switching between extremes. There is a good chance that we will be seeing mild and wet winters, so these perennials might suffer during this time of the year. Drainage will be important since they do not do well in wet soil. 

You will be surprised to hear that certain plants of mine have managed even without water. The geraniums are still here, proving just how resilient they are through both drought and rain. They also protect the soil, suppress weeds, and flower over quite a long time.

The halophytes have proved to be the true winners here. What you need to know is that these are plants that grow in coastal habitats with extreme conditions. The exposure to saltwater has made them used to drought-like environments. They feature different adaptations to thrive in environments without much or any fresh water. With more frequent floods due to the rise in sea levels, we might do better with plants that can handle salinity.

Halophytes boast bioactive compounds and are particularly high in flavonoids and phenolics. This means that they are healthy and deserve to be grown more. In my garden, you will find a bunch of different edible halophytes. The list includes summer purslane, sea beet, and sea kale.

Sea kale is not just edible but also ornamental with its white flowers and grey-green leaves. Harvest the young shoots, which are similar to asparagus. Sea spinach or sea beet is resilient and full of vitamin C. Its scrambling growth lets it cover a huge area in no time at all. Lastly, summer purslane is perfect for salads thanks to its fleshy leaf and high omega-3 levels.

Aside from these three, many other plants are worth exploring. While you are at it, you might want to check out buck’s horn plantain and golden samphire too. You can’t go wrong with saltbush, sea blites, and capers either!

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