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Fill your garden with Mediterranean plants to beat future droughts new RHS

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Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Gardeners across the country looked despondently at their brown, parched flowerbeds during the heatwave last year. Now, the Royal Horticultural Society is advising British people plant brightly coloured Mediterranean trees and flowers to drought-proof their gardens.The charity has released a list of ten attractive, colourful  plants which can be put in the ground from April and can survive extremely dry conditions.Included in the list are the bright magenta rock rose, aromatic rosemary and lavender, silvery Russian sage and the bright yellow Spanish broom.This advice comes from the charity’s recently-recruited environmental horticulture team, which is coming up with new ways to protect British gardens from the effects of climate change and extreme weather.Mark Gush, Head of Environmental Horticulture at the RHS, said: “It may seem counter-intuitive that while much of the UK is under snow and ice gardeners should be considering Mediterranean plants for their gardens this summer.However, with the UK expected to experience warmer, drier summers over the coming years, hardy exotic varieties that can cope with periods of drought will enable gardeners to better manage water resources in their gardens.”RHS Garden Hyde Hall in Essex is situated in one of the driest parts of the country but its Dry Garden survived – even thrived – last summer, and has lasted an astonishing 18 years without being watered, instead capturing only the occasional rains that fall.”Of course, early establishment is imperative so plants have good root structures deep in the soil meaning it’s important gardeners plan ahead.”The new team will research and advise on sustainable resource management, soil health and ecosystem services, including how the UK’s 27 million gardeners can contend with weather extremes, air and noise pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. Findings and advice will be shared with industry and the public. read more

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