ABC Wednesday 4: K is For...

... Keeping up with climate change

We're all concerned what climate change will mean to us: could we overwinter our tender plants with impunity; might our spring daffodils disappear; what's the best way to look after our garden in times of drought; and a host of other questions yet to be answered definitively.

The National Trust is trying to find some of the answers. Nymans garden in particular is in the forefront of adopting greener gardening techniques: for example, they've found that by using a fungus inoculant at the time of planting up the borders, watering can be reduced to just four times from May to October without affecting the summer display. Remarkably this result was achieved during the hot summer of 2006 and an added benefit was a reduction in aphid infestation. The Head Gardener - Ed Ikin - believes this is because the plants' growth was more compact and lacking in the soft, sappy stems so attractive to this garden pest.

One of the perks of volunteering at the Trust's HQ in Swindon is not only do I get to hear about what's going on at gardens like Nymans, I also sometimes get a scoop on a major announcement - like last year's Phytophthora story for instance. Today I can exclusively reveal the Trust is actively considering how the charity's image needs to change once global warming takes hold. An exciting young Spanish designer - Pilar Lofo - has been bought in to update the traditional oak leaf and acorn design (see top picture) into something more suited to our projected hotter climes. Eight possibilities are under consideration, with the logo on the left the most extreme. Others include variations on stylised palm trees, hostas and the kind of lush tropical foliage which may be adorning more of our gardens in the future.

Public consultation will be included as part of this exercise, so you will have a chance to have your say on the matter. However, the poor weather over the past two summers, plus concerns over the projected costs of the change (possibly millions of pounds) and how the credit crunch might affect the National Trust's income means the project has been put on hold for the next financial year. I'll keep you posted on any further news.

For other ABC Wednesday posts, head on over to here.

I confess: The logo changing story is utter twaddle. Up until that point the rest was absolutely true - even the fungus story. Congratulations to Joanna for being first to spot the April Fool ;)


  1. Excellent offering for the letter K; definitely something we should all be concerned about.

  2. interesting post...must look into trying this in south carolina...we certainly have the heat and the need for less watering is always something we look for during the summer months!

  3. I agree this is an interesting post and I know we've been noticing a difference in our climate over the past few years. Right now we're almost a month late in seeing any spring flowers because of the cold and unforeseen snow last month!

  4. Good for the NT. The Wiltshire Wildlife Trust (based in Devizes) are doing some great work in this area.

  5. I just got into huffing and puffing mode about the oakleaves when I remembered the date. Does that mean the fungus is a figment of fun too?


  6. I found your writing very interesting and important. I will be back with more time !

    Have a nice day!

  7. Well done to the National Trust!

    Err - is the cactus logo an April Fool? If so, it had me going for a minute - I was begining to turn into 'Irate of Chesterfield'!

  8. I'm not sure if it's just because I'm gullible or that I spent too many years in the abyss of PR, but I was totally fooled.

    I've only just noticed the anagram of your Spanish designer as well.

    Please tell us the fungi story is at least true!

  9. I was just wondering how anyone in the NT could be that bonkers - you got me hook, line and sinker, VP!

  10. Okay... you had me there.


  11. Dang! :-) I was even going to re-comment (after your mssg) about how the new logo may be a waste of money in the long there must be more pressing things to worry about. :-) Good one!

  12. This is a fascinating post. We gardeners spend a lot of time alone in our gardens, but you are an example of how gardeners reach out into the world in important ways. Thank you.

  13. There certainly are changes out there in the life of the garden. Thanks for contributing, I appreciate your efforts so much.


  14. K....knowledge of the date is extremely important when one reads a literate blogger's offering! gail

  15. You had me too! A rant was in progress in my head and was just about to be launched here! lol

    Great post!


  16. Durrr! Well done VP, you got me too. I was throwing my hands up in desperation as the total stupidity.

    PS I drove through central Nottingham yesterday and was blown away by the a couple of gorgeous roundabouts. How can a roundabout look like someone's garden? and in the inner city too! Of course I didn't have my camera with me, on my way to an envelope stuffing session, and it is a bit tricky to take a world class prize winning photo whilst negotiating said roundabout. I'll try harder for June. Promise.

  17. hahaha, I'm glad the other commenters reminded me that it's April Fool's! Nice one. I guess I'm a lofo too ;)

  18. Hi everyone - APRIL FOOL!

    Well done to those of you who spotted it.


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