Climate Change in the Garden?

December Gardening: Climate Change in my own Backyard
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Can it be spring in December?

I’m used to the climate being a bit weird on the Isle of Man. It never really gets too warm and it never really gets too cold. It’s the Goldilocks of climates and it confuses not just people but sometimes plants.

This week is a little different though — I’ve not only found many of my spring bulbs growing but strawberries ripening. I’ve also been leaving the windows and doors open to freshen up the house and walking around with no coat on. It really is that warm even though the sun hanging low in the sky tells us it’s still December.

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December Gardening: Climate Change in my own Backyard

Climate Change

It’s such a bizarre thing to imagine — our climate changing before our eyes. Each of us generally only measures the effects from our own back garden and community and when six feet of snow dumps some scoff at the idea of ‘Global Warming’.


Climate change is so much more complex than that though. It’s the increasing storms, the droughts, the polar vortexes, and of course the soaring summer temperatures. Whether you believe it or not, it’s happening. I bet that by now you can see strange things happening in your own garden too.

December Gardening: Climate Change in my own Backyard

Spring leaves on Geraniums

Some other signs of confused plants and flowers here in my garden are the green leaves on my rescue Geraniums. This pot of flowers was abandoned at the house when I moved in and it’s never really done that well since. Somehow in the past few weeks it’s sprung into life. I’ve never seen more leaves on it than it has now and it’s opening pink blossoms although it’s stood outside. The bulbs and strawberries were weird enough but this is hands-down bizarre.

December Gardening: Climate Change in my own Backyard

Blackcurrant Sage

Another plant that thinks it’s spring is a herby-shrub I was given six weeks ago. Every time you brush the leaves of this Blackcurrant Sage you can smell the intense fruity scent of the summer berries it was named for.

It was woody when I brought it home so I recently gave it a haircut to prepare it for spring. I didn’t really expect it to start growing more leaves in December though! A lot of the new growth is down at the bottom and I can only suspect that the mild temperatures and its proximity to the house keeps it warm enough to grow. The plant does come from South America though and prefers a much warmer climate — that says it all really.

December Gardening: Climate Change in my own Backyard

Still waiting on the garlic though

At least my garlic knows that it’s still December. The cloves are beginning to grow roots but have still to show any sign of greens. It will be early in the year that I’m expecting to see their tenacious shoots and if it’s any earlier than that I’ll be adding them onto my weird-climate list.

It’s overwhelming to think about massive shifts in the planet when all you want to do is live and thrive and grow a few vegetables. We can all just do our best to keep our own environmental impact down and to adapt to the changes as we face them. Still, I find the changes that I see alarming and feel helpless to do much — do you feel the same?

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6 Discussion to this post

  1. Catherine says:

    Amazing. I have roses in full bloom on my climbing rose by my back door. And we still have the 4.5tog quilt on our bed!!

    • lovelygreens says:

      It’s an incredibly warm winter isn’t it? Enjoy the roses while they’re blooming and thanks for the message Catherine 🙂

  2. Charlotte says:

    I can sense the same her in the Netherlands. We’ve had about 2 periods of a few days of frost, but now temperatures feel like spring. Usually February is the coldest month for us, but not *really* cold. When I look back 10 years ago or 20, all I can conclude is that the earth warms up FAST.

    • lovelygreens says:

      February can be cold here too but let’s see what it’s like in a few weeks. And yes, I feel the same about the climate changing over that small amount of time. It’s absolutly crazy how fast it’s changing — sometimes freakishly warm and in other years freakishly wet or cold. We had massive flooding this time last year and now it’s mild and grey. Honeybees are flying and roses are still blooming.

  3. Caro says:

    Hi Tanya, I watched your video first thing this morning – hope you’re beginning to feel better now! I’m very used to unseasonal changes in the garden being in London, in a micro-climate thanks to heat retaining brick walls. I have both blackcurrant and pineapple sage and both flower their socks off at this time of year. The amazing sight in the garden at the moment is the scented pelargonium which has flowered outside all summer even though it’s recommended that these plants need the shelter of a greenhouse. It was grown from a cutting and is now a three feet high shrub and covered in beautiful velvety leaves. I should take cuttings because if the weather gets really wintry, I could lose it. Looking on the bright side of climate change, the entire xmas break looks like being sunny down here in London and I have lots of gardening to catch up with! Wishing you a good xmas and great things for 2017, Caro xx

    • lovelygreens says:

      So lovely to hear from you and hear about your garden Caro! I don’t have scented Pelargoniums here but I use their essential oil in some of my products — the scent is simply amazing. Wishing you a fab holiday season and I might just have to follow your suit and get out into the lottie. I have some time off now so will wait to see if we get this massive storm in or not. Wishing you the best for 2017 too!

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