Norwich’s Plantation Gardens: different microclimates

Published:
11:49 am October 23, 2022



Volunteers from a popular garden in the heart of the city plan to learn more about the microclimates that exist in the area to better maintain the garden.

Plantation Gardens, on Earlham Road, is a restored Grade II listed Victorian site.

All the park maintenance work is done by volunteers – and recently they discovered a way that will help them take better care of it.


Roger Connah is the chairman of the Plantation Gardens Trust which looks after the Grade II listed garden
– Credit: Roger Connah

Roger Connah, chairman of the Plantation Garden Trust, said: “This is an unusual space in the city – it is set in a deep chalk pit and we assumed the temperature at the lowest point would be the coldest.

“Yet this place has a tree fern growing well.”

Because of this, the idea was born to monitor the temperatures in the garden every week, with a minimum and maximum thermometer with one at the lowest point and one at the highest point with less shade.

“We expect to have a differential between these and after a few months of testing we will have data to understand, which could help us choose plants that are more favorable to the microclimate that we think exist.”

Rainfall is also recorded, and volunteers will use the data as a guide to know when the plants need watering.

Mr Connah said: “This summer we used more water than expected and were relieved that the plants survived very well, especially in the deepest part where the grass and lawn remained green. .”


M&N

The thermometers are installed in two very different places in the garden in order to provide clear data.
– Credit: M&N

The garden has grown in popularity in recent years, attracting increasing numbers of visitors.

“The Plantation Garden has proven to be a place where people can enter in a quiet site but only 200 yards from the city walls,” Mr Connah said.

“Over the past two years, our visitor numbers have doubled and remain at this high level, with many tourists also finding us, as we are well placed in the city for a short visit or a longer time to relax. ”

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