Design your green space to be climate-friendly forward. The next time you establish a perennial or biennial garden, be sure to source plants that are adapted and suited to your regional climate. Urban gardening is your opportunity to help restore the landscape by sourcing native plants. Since these species are best suited to grow in your region, they are often the easiest to maintain.
“Native plants are adapted to our local climate and usually don’t need a lot of fertilizer. They’re typically drought tolerant once they’re established, unlike a lot of ornamental plants. Of course, they play an important role in the local ecosystem; providing food and shelter for local wildlife,” says Environmental Youth Alliance’s Philanthropy Officer, David Palmer.
Plant Hardiness Zones suggest what plants are capable of withstanding the winter months based on the coldest temperatures in your region. This scale is largely dictated by water availability but also factors such as altitude, soil aeration, and day length. Take notice of your microclimate conditions: neighbouring communities may find themselves in different zones.
“This means not falling in love at the nursery. It means doing your homework first which takes a lot of discipline,” says Metro Vancouver Landscape Architect, Karin England.