Is the future Looking Good?

Keen garden bloggers have been chatting for the past few weeks about the strangely mild autumn we have had so far. Although it’s nice to be able to get outside without coats there has been an underlying current of concern. What effect will these high temperatures have on our garden plants and the creatures who depend on them for food and habitat?

A press release by the RHS indicates that we are right to be worried about environmental changes affecting our planet. We all know that populations of plants and animals are in decline to such an extent that some are in danger of becoming extinct.

Professor Stephen Blackmore (The Queens Botanist in Scotland) says that we can’t wait any longer. Governments around the world need to tackle this issue but legislation takes time. We need to do something about it now. This is where gardeners come in.
He says that gardeners have a huge role to play in making some simple changes to grow the right plants and improve conditions in our gardens and neighbourhoods so that wildlife can find food and a safe place to live.

These are some of his suggestions:

  • Actively choosing plants that will support the widest diversity of other species, including pollinators and other garden wildlife
  • Making urban landscapes much greener by planting garden and street trees to absorb pollutants, reduce excess temperatures and improve the quality of the built environment
  • Not paving over front gardens, instead ensuring that there is an area of green as well as a parking space
  • Gaining health benefits for themselves and their families through gardening
  • Joining forces with and support their local parks, gardens and gardening societies, if they don’t have a garden of their own.

Verbena-CommasIf you have already made some changes to accommodate wildlife in your garden that’s absolutely brilliant. Give yourself a big pat on the back from me! Now what more could you do? Could you stop using chemicals? Could you plant a tree or a hedge?

If you are just thinking about it then now is the time to act before it’s too late.
All of the suggestions above are things we should all be doing if we want to protect our local environment and preserve wildlife.

FOR GROUPS: The quickest and easiest thing you can do to help is to sow wildflower seeds. The GROW WILD scheme is brilliant for community groups and schools. Apply to them now for wildflower seeds for your group. They will deliver them to you in spring.

FOR INDIVIDUALS: If you are a family, a couple or an individual with your own garden, balcony or allotment and you would like to make a difference then I would like to help you get started. Apply for your FREE SEEDS here. They will be delivered to you in spring.

It’s so easy to grow beautiful plants in your garden that have nectar and pollen for bees, butterflies and other pollinating insects.
If you want to get cracking with something straight away you could build a bug house or bee box or just leave a pile of twigs and leaves under a hedge for a hedgehog to spend the winter in.

I know that this is a little different to my usual Friday Looking Good post but I feel so strongly about this that I just had to get it down in black and white! Thanks for reading, liking and commenting and most of all thanks for joining in!  Gillian 🙂

16 thoughts on “Is the future Looking Good?

  1. Thank you for doing this Gillian. I am with you. Last year, I did a post giving away large packets of seeds designed to grow flowers for pollinators. It was a big success. The tough part of our efforts is that we have—at least in the USA—nearly 50% of the population who think Global Warming is not real science. In fact, they disdain science. They think it is some kind of liberal left wing conspiracy designed to stop them everyone from doing whatever they want to do, whenever they want to do it. We are literally in a battle for the future of the US. One thing I’ve found that helps is to refer to Global Warming as “Global Weirding.” This is something everyone can relate to regardless of their political views. Everybody can see that weather is swinging drastically, and just becoming “weirder.” With that perspective, the giant flux of difficult conditions, whether it be drought or flood, all fall under the umbrella of “we better do something because mankind is effectively speeding up natural processes that might have occurred over millennia in a natural way.” Gardeners are in a good position to help people see these changes because we are sooo very much in touch with our little patch of earth.

  2. It’s a good thing to stave of the harshness of winter for as long as possible. In regard to gardens, I like to have growing things that invite bees and butterflies and whatever winged creatures find their way to my garden.

  3. Thanks for spreading the word, Gillian. Every bit that we gardeners can do, the better. This is a US site, but the ideas they offer apply to the UK as well:

  4. Great that you have high-lighted all these important points Gillian. One thing that may happen next year is that tulips and other bulbs may flower later than usual because they won’t have had the cold period they need; that is always an issue here and this year I have put many of my tulips in the fridge and will plant them in December hoping that will make them earlier. My tulips are often only a week or so in advance of the UK tulips because it isn’t usually cold here until January. Here’s my post for today.
    Thanks for hosting.

    1. Thanks very much for joining in Christina. It’s hard to know what will happen but I have a good idea that things won’t be great if we all do nothing to help.

      1. I think in the UK people are much more aware about the power they have if they act collectively, sadly in Italy that isn’t the case and it shows on all kinds of ways. I have never used chemicals in this garden and the amount of wildlife is significantly higher now than when I started the garden here in 2007. The “not paving” front gardens should become law, or it it is done in busy cities then at least the corners of the plot could be planted rather than covering the whole area with concrete which is bad for wildlife as well as increasing the likelihood of flooding.

  5. Good post, Gillian. Coming from a state (which I love…) where some of our “leaders” still deny that human activity is directly responsible for climate change, I can’t tell you how frustrated, disgusted and fearful of the future that I am. As an individual, there’s not much I can do, but I do what I can. We cycle to work (some), have installed solar panels on our home (which ALL Texans should do–it’s not like we don’t have an abundance of sunshine here!!– and plant for wildlife. Gardeners are on the forefront of this issue and maybe we can’t fix everything, but we can do our part to heal our beautiful, beleaguered world.

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