Hosepipe Bans and 'Guerrilla Gardeners'

The hot gardening topics of the moment.

Beat the hosepipe ban!

Hello again,

So what are the hot gardening topics of the moment? Well, for those of you having to live with a hosepipe ban if you didn’t have an interest in drought tolerant plants before I’m sure you will have now. I plan to develop a dedicated section of the website to drought tolerant plants and how we can all cope in our gardens with rising temperatures and longer, hotter summers. Are drought tolerant plants being over hyped? After all virtually all new plants bought at the Garden Centre, ‘drought tolerant’ or not will require regular watering until they are established.

But once they are established true drought tolerant plants will require a lot less water than their thirsty colleagues will. When choosing your drought tolerant plants research and think about where the plant you are considering is found growing in the wild. Plants native to the Mediterranean region for example will be used to high temperatures and little rainfall.

So what sort of plants will I be considering for inclusion on the drought tolerant section of the website?

Plants that have grey foliage reflect some of the sunlight back, reducing the amount of water that can be evaporated from the leaf surface. Plants with needle like leaves have a reduced surface area therefore minimising the amount of water loss. Any plants that have swollen, succulent stems that store water in preparation for when the going gets tough will do well in the drought tolerant garden.

But it’s not just about the plants; think about the way you manage your garden to reduce water use. Consider a Summer ‘No digging Policy’ Gardeners often dig or fork over their borders to make them look appealing and fresh but by doing this you are actually exposing moisture under the soil surface to the sun. When it does rain make sure you have a water butt to catch every last drop, rain water is especially useful for ericaceous plants, the lime haters that detest the often high alkaline mains water.

Rainwater should also be locked into the borders with a decent mulch, reducing evaporation from the soil surface.

Will our gardens warm up so much that they are warm enough for Gorillas? It's not that type of gorilla I'm thinking of but I understand that in London a group of nocturnal volunteers calling themselves ‘Guerrilla Gardeners’ have declared a Guerrilla war against local authorities, striking at night, renovating and making-over council roundabouts and other public spaces that have seen better days.

What will happen when the ‘Guerrilla Gardeners’ run out of projects? Will they then move on to neglected private gardens? Will this encourage lazy couch potatoes to further neglect their plots, hoping for a nocturnal visit from the ‘Guerrillas’ armed with a load of free plants.

On a serious note I applaud the work of the ‘Guerrilla Gardeners’ but just hope they have done all their research. I hope they are not naively planting poisonous plants in public places for example.
If they know what they are doing, Good Luck to them I say. I just hope they apply for Council Tax rebates to cover the cost of the plants they are buying for the projects!

See you next time,

For more information see:
Guerrilla Gardeners


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