Gardeners see signs of climate changeBulbs bloom earlier and waste increasing

04 May 2007

Over a quarter of the UK's gardeners believe they can see signs of climate change in their flower beds and lawns, according to a survey out today.

Earlier blooming bulbs were the most obvious sign cited by gardeners, while nearly a quarter also noticed an increase in the amount of garden waste, such as grass trimmings and prunings.

The Waste and Resources Action Programme's survey – conducted for its Know Your Compost campaign  - found that 56 per cent of gardeners understand the important role that recycling garden waste plays in helping to combat climate change. But only one in five choose to use peat-free composts and around a third of gardeners regularly home compost.

Water shortages

The survey also revealed gardeners' top worries for the future. Water shortages was the main concern, while over a third were worried that some native plants may no longer flourish, including traditional cottage garden flowers such as delphiniums and lupins.

Gardening Which? member services and campaigns manager, Rosemary Ward, said: ‘We regularly provide advice on how to make and use garden compost, and on ways to save water in the garden. In fact, you can combine the two - dig in garden compost before putting in new plants, or lay it on the surface as a mulch around existing areas. Either way it helps keep moisture in the soil and reduce watering time and effort. Nice to think that all those grass clippings and potato peelings can help you and help the environment.’

About 55 per cent of households in England now have a doorstep collection service to recycle their garden waste, while more than one million home compost bins have been sold in the UK via the Waste and Resources Action Programme's home composting campaign.