Managing the impacts of accelerating global climate change guides horticulture research and management practices, including plant selection and landscape planning, at both our Melbourne and Cranbourne Gardens. Automatic weather stations at both Gardens provide a long term means of monitoring the climate.
At the Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne, this approach has included the restoration of Guilfoyle’s Volcano reservoir and the Working Wetlands stormwater capture and treatment program; the progressive introduction of drought-tolerant turf across the lawn areas; and the introduction of soil moisture monitoring. The Melbourne Gardens is recognised as a leader in water management for large public landscapes and works closely with industry.
As stewards of the heritage-listed Melbourne Gardens, the Royal Botanic Gardens is responsible for maintaining the landscape style under water scarcity and increasing temperatures. Ultimately, this will be most successful if the type of plants that we grow can be gradually changed to those more adapted for future climates.
Long-term landscape planning is essential to the development of Master Plans and Living Plan Collections Plans to consider the projected climatic conditions. Our most valuable living assets are those that are long-lived such as the trees which take many years to reach maturity. From this perspective, planning considers climate change projections for 2070 when selecting plants for the future.