Renovate Your Garden And Brighten Up Your Life.

By: Susan Sportman

Weather - Is the combination of rainfall, temperature, wind sunshine and air humidity which affects your garden at a particular point in time. It is easy to help defend your garden against climate and weather changes with some easy renovation work.

Climate - This is the summing up of the weather which is likely to affect your garden right through the year. The climate maps of your area should be used as a rough guide only. They provide averages over many years instead of telling you the extremes of climatic conditions which you are likely to enjoy (or suffer) during a particular year. Furthermore, the general climate of your region will be much modified by the factors around the garden (the local climate) and the factors around each plant (the microclimate).

Overall - The overall climate supplies a rough guide to the weather you can expect in your garden. In Britain it varies from nearly sub-tropical (S.W. coastal areas) to almost sub-arctic (N.Scottish highlands). The general climate is controlled by the latitude, altitude, direction of the prevailing wind and the closeness to the sea. The effect of latitude is apparent to everyone, southern gardens are warmer than northern ones. The effect of being close to the sea is equally recognized, western coastal gardens are kept virtually frost-free by the Gulf Stream. Less well known is the effect of small increases in altitude and the plant-damaging effect of salt in coastal areas for as much as 5 miles inland.

Local climate - The local climate is the modified type of general climate. A little renovation work cancertainly help in this area. It is controlled by:
Slope - a south facing sloping position starts its growing season about 1 week before a level plot.
Openness - nearby trees and bushes will cast shade and reduce solar energy, but they will also reduce the damaging effect of high winds.
Proximity of buildings - town gardens are affected in many ways by the closeness of walls, houses etc. Walls cast shadows and so reduce solar energy, they may also cast rain shadows and so diminish rainfall. Walls affect the temperature, heat is released over night and south facing walls can potentially form a sun trap.

Soil type - frosts tend to be more prone to occur over sandy soils than over heavy ones.

Proximity of water - a close-by large lake can have a cooling effect on hot summer days.

Micro climate - The is the customized form of local climate in a immediate vicinity of a plant. Considerable variations can occur from one part of your garden to another part. Close by walls and hedges or overhanging plants will obviously lead to less light and less rainfall than in an open garden, the effect of this rain shadow can be to cut the water supply to only 25% of the rainfall in the open garden. On the credit side the effect of nearby walls and plants is to cut the risk of frost on clear, still nights and to reduce the harmful effect of wind. The general climate cannot, however, be changed. The local climate is generally impossible to alter but they can often be improved by introducing cloches or windbreaks. Carrying out some renovation work to your garden can be a great help against the elements.

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A fantastic amount of my time is spent in my garden. One of the jobs I enjoy a lot is crrying out renovation work. I find it helps me to unwind and forget everything, apart from the work I am doing.

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