Something that horticulturalists have long suspected is now official, the urban back garden can help to save our planet, for the first time it has been brought to centre stage through published evidence by the RHS in a scientific review named Gardening Matters: Urban Gardens. The evidence indicates that are four key factors where a garden makes a difference.
They help control temperatures thereby mitigating the effectives of extreme cold or heat. By absorbing rainwater they help prevent flooding that otherwise may be too much for drainage systems. By providing exercise and easing stress they support human health. And supporting a myriad of wildlife including mammals, invertebrates and bird they have become nature reserve’s in Britain.
There is evidence that some species now declining in low intensity farmland after being common are now more abundant in urban areas. These include the common frog, hedgehogs and the song thrush. One study shows that the density of domestic birds in Sheffield’s gardens compared to the rest of the nation is six times higher.
The report reopens the long debate about how the urban gardens can and must be protected, exploited and enhanced to help the quality of life in urban areas and also tips on how to support the local ecosystem that gardeners can implement.
On the other hand there are also negative impacts gardening may have like the use of power tools using extra energy and using increased amounts of water each year. But the RHS believes that with the knowledge of how gardens are helping the environment the positive impact of horticulture can be maximized. One way is to find multiple use plants in order to get double the benefit from one species.