Tackling climate change with biodiversity

How gardens can support biodiversity and become more resilient

Tackling climate change with biodiversity © GARDENA

Planting a colourful mixture of fruit, vegetables and plants makes a garden diverse and more resilient to extreme weather conditions.

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Ecosystems are suffering from biodiversity loss, with many species of flora and fauna at threat of extinction. This has been confirmed by reports published by the United Nations[1]. But why is biodiversity so important for gardens in the face of climate change? And what can gardeners do to encourage biodiversity in their own residential green spaces?

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Biodiversity is often underappreciated until it is no longer there. But it soon becomes clear that something is missing when there are fewer birds in the sky or the wildflower meadows have lost some of their colour. Biodiversity is key to a functional and resilient ecosystem. More and more species of animals and plants are under threat because of the rise in soil sealing, intensive farming, and the impact of climate change. So far, gardeners often do not consider biodiversity when working on their gardens. However, when working on short-term projects like selecting plants, they often are gardening in ways that promote biodiversity and build resilience to climate change; opting for native plants, bee-friendly plants or when they are careful to think about how much water plants need. This shows that there is some awareness surrounding the topic, with gardeners taking small steps to support biodiversity and boost the resilience of their own green spaces. 

There are many projects and initiatives that confirm there is a growing desire to promote biodiversity. Towns and cities are showing their support for natural gardening, maintaining green spaces, and planting more trees. Garden concepts like permaculture[2] are really taking hold now, with a focus on treating nature with respect and growing fruit and vegetables without using any pesticides. Gardens filled with gravel, leaving little space for animals and plants, used to be all the rage. But they are a big no-no now for many– and for good reason. This kind of sealed surface does not provide wildlife with food or shelter and does nothing to counter the impact of climate change. Natural gardens, however, allow rainwater to soak away and offer some relief from heat waves in the summer thanks to evaporation. 

Biodiversity has huge potential

With pesticides never being used in natural gardening, the balance between pests and beneficial garden organisms is maintained. Plants can become healthy and resilient – fruit and vegetables, shrubs, trees, and bushes alike. Since there is no way of knowing for certain which type of planting will prove most effective going forward in the face of climate change, there must be an element of experimentation in the garden. And there is always the chance that change opens new opportunities. The more biodiversity we have now, the more likely it is that the plants of today will survive into the future. 

There is more to biodiversity than the flora and fauna on the surface. The underground ecosystem in the soil is part of it too. Billions of microorganisms break down organic materials into soil rich in nutrients so that plants can grow and thrive in gardens. Taking care of the soil by regularly adding compost and mulch is an investment in the future. This lays the foundations for a stable ecosystem that is more likely to withstand climate change and extreme weather conditions than fragile monocultures or gardens filled with annual plants. 

Every little helps with biodiversity

Gardeners will not regret taking their first step towards adopting a natural approach to gardening. They will soon discover how enriching it is to create natural garden spaces, which also provide a habitat for lots of plants and animals. Private gardens and balconies are the perfect place for gardeners to get started and do their bit to support biodiversity. And the size of the space is not important. Gardeners can make a promising start by creating a mini pond, planting climbers on the front of their house or planting native perennial wildflowers in a raised bed or pot. The total area covered by private gardens should not be underestimated – they are an important part of the bigger picture of residential green spaces. Gardeners should know that making their gardens or balconies more natural and promoting biodiversity is a positive step that will also boost the resilience of their own garden.

Four ways to promote biodiversity in a small space

  • Plant wildflowers like viper’s bugloss, mullein, and chicory along the edges of paths.
  • Turn an old metal tub into a mini pond.
  • Plant perennial wildflowers in balcony boxes to provide wildlife with food and shelter (even in the winter).
  • Make the most of vertical space by planting climbers up walls. 


Abstract: Biodiversity strengthens our ecosystem in so many ways. But it is under threat because of soil sealing, intensive farming, and climate change. Every gardener can do their bit to promote biodiversity by following these four tips. They can plant wildflowers along the edges of paths, turn a metal tub into a mini pond, fill balcony boxes with plants to provide food and shelter for animals, and make the most of vertical space by planting climbers up walls.

[1]  https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/biodiversity/

[2] Permaculture is a gardening principle based on the philosophy of working with nature and its cycles rather than against them. 

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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1 Susanne Huber (en)
Susanne Huber
Brand and products

3 FleishmanHillard (en)
Justine Merz
FleishmanHillard Germany GmbH
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