Garden of Resilience: Resilience Garden

Resilience planting for hotter drier weather

This is the text on the board next to the forest garden bed:

With more extreme weather conditions, it is important to green up our living spaces. Plants take in carbon dioxide, reduce the risk of flooding, keep our environment more stable and improve our health. So it is good to create as much green space around you as you can.

This bed has a large number of drought tolerant plants which have proven themselves to be tough in a variety of conditions. Planting tough plants that are drought and flood tolerant makes gardening easier. Choosing native plants from Europe will help the insects which have migrated north to avoid the heat. Creating shady areas and windbreaks can also help maintain a more stable environment for plants, wildlife and us.

As warmer temperatures arrive earlier in the year, plants flower earlier. This can disrupt plant-insect pollinator associations, so we need to grow a wide range of plants with differing flowering times.

Diversity creates stability. It is helpful to create a range of microhabitats, plant a diverse range of plants and add habitat boosters for wildlife in the space.

With hot, dry, cold, wet and windy conditions becoming more extreme, tending the soil becomes more important. It is a good idea to add as much organic matter to the soil as you can and mulch it to keep the soil covered. This reduces evaporation and keeps it cooler in summer. It also reduces waterlogging and keeps it warmer in winter.

List of plants

Here is a list of the plants that we have planted in the dry bed:

  • Convolvulus cneorum
  • Nepeta tuberosa
  • Gaura lindheimeri
  • Salvia lavandulifolia
  • Sedum spurium
  • Stachys byzantina "Big Ears"
  • Thymus pugiloides
  • Sedum spectabile "Atumn Joy"
  • Limonium latifolium
  • Nepeta racemosa "Snowflake
  • Sedum "Bertram Anderson"
  • Erigeron karvinskianus
  • Santolina rosmarinifolia
  • Festuca punctoria
  • Sisyrinchium idahoense
  • Knautia macedonica


  • Tulipa linifolia Batalinnii group "Red Hunter
  • Muscari armeniacum
  • Allium hollandicum "Purple Sensation"
  • Allium christophii
  • Allium atropurpureum
  • Seeds
  • Nigella sativa
  • Eschscholzia californica

Return to Garden of Resilience home page.

Our Mission

Transition Cambridge aims to help Cambridge make the transition to ways of life that are more resilient in the face of rising energy prices and a changing climate.

Sign up for our fortnightly newsletter

Share this page