Book Review - The Climate Change Garden by Sally Morgan and Kim Stoddart

Climate change has to be one of the biggest issues we are facing globally, if not the biggest.  As I sat down to write this review we have recently had the hottest day on record followed by torrential rain and gales.  Climates do change, but what we are experiencing is a speed of change that is frightening.  This book is about helping us as gardeners understand the challenges so we can adapt and change our approach to gardening.
A thread that runs through the book is about learning from the past and looking forward to the future.  As said above, we know that our climate has changed many times; with each change gardeners and food growers have had to adapt how they grow.  Sally and Kim tell us that in the UK it is now on average around 0.8 deg C warmer compared with the period 1961-1990.  We are expecting more warmer summers and wetter winters; both of which will test our garden's resilience.

The chapters in the book take us through how to adapt to too much water, too much heat, wind frost and snow.  This is a pragmatic book, we are talked through how to watch our gardens for how water lies on them.  There are practical suggestions for how to divert water into swales, how to collect it and how to work together as a community with our neighbours to reduce volumes of water.  There are  also sections on Mediterranean planting, if our climate continues to increase in heat then this has to be considered seriously.  There is also a discussion about perennial vegetable growing in sustainable and practical way.  I found that a lot of the book made good sense to me; by saying that growing organically is a more resilient approach and encouraging the importance of wildlife in our gardens just has to be a good thing.

The issues are not skirted around and clear advice is given; however this is also not a scary, panic-inducing book.  Sally and Kim explain the problem, they explain that we do have to take it seriously but then give us clear advice and ways forward.  For me the important message is about making changes now so that we can continue to grow in our gardens in a sustainable way.

This is a dense book packed with information.  It is full of tips, good illustrative photography and it lays out the information in an accessible way.  It is a good book to read through and also one that I know I will dip into time and again in the future.

The Climate Change Garden Book by Sally Morgan and Kim Stoddart published by Green Rocket Books retails for £15

The Climate Change Garden website can be found here