Exploiting the “Heat Island” Effect in our plant choices and creating gardens – PART 1

Banana Plants and Hardy Palm to buy at Paramount Plants, London Garden Centre

Musa Basjoo – Japanese Banana | Trachycarpus Fortunei – Chusan Palm

Many tens of thousands if not millions of us live in towns and cities which because of the accumulated effects of lighting and heating etc retain a temperature (especially at night) which is several degrees higher than that of the surrounding countryside. This higher temperature can play a huge advantage when it comes to our plants and gardens.

The extreme winters of the last few years resulted in the death of many marginally tender plants which had become accustomed to a run of mild weather. Having said that many survived in heavily built up areas especially when in close proximity to buildings.

Understandably those living in rural areas and exposed areas who have had losses of plants are wary of replacing them. However many of those losses, it has to be said, were due to lack of even minimal protection given to the plants brought about by our complacency due to the previous mild winters. See our blog post on how to prepare tender plants for the winter.

The benefits of the microclimates of towns and cities from a gardening perspective are hugely under-exploited which is partly due to a lack of awareness. Certainly when a striking new garden appears it arouses interest often resulting in a knock on effect. These gardens usually consist of bold architectural plants such as hardy palms, tree ferns etc and are often of a contemporary nature.

Read our blog on how to help Cordylines recover after a harsh winter

Plant Suggestions for the “Heat Island” Effect in Part 2 to follow ….