More resilience is also becoming increasingly important in domestic green spaces

Adapting green spaces to extreme weather conditions

More resilience is also becoming increasingly important in domestic green spaces © GARDENA

Resilient gardens, patios and balconies are spaces where nature can flourish and thrive. By making sensible choices about irrigation, landscaping and plants, gardeners can ensure that those spaces can withstand changing environmental conditions. With regular care and attention, they can bloom into safe havens for people and animals.

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Extreme weather, such as heavy rain, drought, and heat waves, is becoming more widespread due to climate change, with the potential for serious damage to be caused. Green spaces like gardens, balconies and patios need to be resilient, adaptable, and able to spring back after isolated instances of extreme weather.

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With dry spells becoming more common, water is becoming a more precious resource than ever. It is no longer possible to assume that it is always going to be readily available. The water table rises slowly after an extremely dry summer, with some dramatically negative impacts on the health of forests and harvests. Gardens and other green spaces like patios and balconies suffer in the heat too. Water is the elixir of life and it has to be used wisely so there is enough for people, animals and plants. But heavy rainfall is another common extreme weather event. And the problem here is that the water cannot be absorbed sufficiently by the soil when it is dry or has been sealed.

The many functions of green spaces

Green spaces are becoming increasingly important within the context of climate change. With so much more to offer humans and animals than just aesthetic appeal, they are in serious need of protection. Plants absorb CO2 – as much as 500 kg is stored in the biomass of a fully grown, medium-sized tree.[1] They also filter particulates and pollutants from their surroundings, improving the air quality. Plants cool the air down too through evaporation, which is even more important in urban areas. With plants in place, water can be absorbed and stored in the soil more easily. This is so important now that extreme weather conditions are on the rise. If heat and drought are followed by heavy rain, the sealed or dried-out soil has little chance of absorbing the water or evaporating with a cooling effect.

In a resilient garden, water is used sparingly as a resource. Rainwater is collected and put to efficient use. If flooding is to be avoided, it is necessary to have enough planted areas that can absorb and store heavy rainfall. Trees create cooling shaded areas and provide food and shelter for animals – as do perennial shrubs. By getting the layout of their garden spot on, gardeners can make even heat waves and droughts more manageable.

Building resilience in gardens with plants

In the context of climate change, it makes sense to choose plants that can withstand droughts and heat waves. 

Thinking about what plants need and matching them to local conditions is one of the secrets to maintaining a garden that keeps on thriving. It is also important to think about the local wildlife and choose plants that will provide sufficient sustenance.[2] Animals and organisms living in the soil are key to plants thriving and soils being healthy. There are billions of living organisms beneath our feet. Bugs, earthworms, bacteria, fungi, mites and others turn dead organic matter into humus. If this underground ecosystem is healthy, so are the plants.

Garden spaces provide the perfect place to relax, find inspiration, play, or grow fruit and vegetables. Growing produce is a great way for children of all ages to experience nature with all their senses and learn just how important their little green corner of the planet is for the future.

Future-proofing gardens one step at a time

Even though the effects of climate change are already being felt, gardeners do not have to make drastic changes to their gardens overnight. The transformation to a resilient garden can be a gradual process. With due care and attention, good garden tools and clever ideas, the green spaces of the future will bring joy to gardeners and the natural world.

[1] THE RHS Sustainability Report, Royal Horticultural Society, 2021

[2] More information on picking the right plants and making mindful decisions in the garden is available in the Gardena e-book Sustainable gardening: tips and inspiration for colourful biodiversity.

About Gardena
For over 50 years Gardena has provided everything passionate gardeners need. The broad assortment of products offers innovative solutions and systems for watering, lawn care, tree and shrub care and soil cultivation. Today, Gardena is a leading European supplier of high-quality gardening tools and distributed in more than 100 countries worldwide. Gardena is a brand of Husqvarna Group. Gardena Division has 3,450 employees worldwide. Further information on gardena.com.
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More resilience is also becoming increasingly important in domestic green spaces
3 500 x 2 334 photo_camera © GARDENA
More resilience is also becoming increasing-ly important in domestic green spaces
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Small powerhouse
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Create more greenery even in a small space
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An efficient way of watering: drip irrigation
3 500 x 2 335 photo_camera © GARDENA


1 Susanne Huber (en)
Susanne Huber
Brand and products

3 FleishmanHillard (en)
Justine Merz
FleishmanHillard Germany GmbH
Phone +49 69-405702535