One of the most interesting findings for gardeners is that, in this region, while overall levels of rainfall are not expected to decline, the seasonal patterns are likely to change. As well as some warming, we will probably get more of our rainfall in summer and autumn, and less in winter and spring. This marks a move towards more tropical conditions.
For gardeners, plants that benefit from the current relatively even spread of rainfall throughout the year, and that need high moisture levels, are likely to struggle unless you water them more often.
Plants that can cope with greater variability, such as many of the dry rainforest species, and those adapted to tough conditions such as some coastal plants, will be less affected.
|Seaside plants, such as these wind-shaped Swamp|
Paperbarks (Melaleuca ericifolia) trees, cope well with
tough conditions including dry spells.
|Another seaside plant, Large-leaf Bush Pea (Pultenaea|
daphnoides), that can cope with dry spells. It does best
in coastal conditions, so would be ideal for coastal gardens.
Saltbush, of which there are several local species, are very hardy and will grow in a wide range of conditions and soils. Here's some Sea Berry Saltbush (Rhagodia candolleana) working as an informal hedge alongside a road.
|Sea Berry Saltbush can grow up to 2m tall or more, but is|
easily shaped into an informal hedge or shrub.
|Another saltbush, Ruby Saltbush (Enchylaena tomentosa)|
has beautiful, delicious berries and will cope with very
dry conditions if necessary.
|Fairy Fan Flower (Scaevola aemula) forms a dense carpet|
of green, covered with purple fan flowers in spring.
It copes well with neglect.
|Everlasting Daisies (Xerochrysum bracteatum) are a tough and |
adaptable local species.
|Even some ferns, like this Rainbow Fern|
(Calochlaena dubia) are tolerant of long dry periods.
Maidenhair Ferns are similarly hardy.
The climate won't change all at once, but we are already seeing some very dry winter and spring periods in this region. It is probably worth starting to plan now for future change.