With temperatures and levels of pollution on the rise, plants can help gardens and gardeners thrive in changing times.

This might seem like a daunting prospect, but the good news for gardeners is that there are steps we can take at a local level to help ease the effects of these big issues.

While we can use drought-tolerant plants to cope in raised temperatures, the long-term solution lies in reducing the heat. Some plants have been proven to actively improve the microclimate of a garden and surrounding buildings. For example, plants like jasmine, English ivy and viburnum are able to cool a building by between 7-14ºC. Plants can also trap pollution by absorbing particulate matter. Conifers have been found to be especially good at this due to their smaller leaf size and shape.

On top of this, the more ecologically resilient we can make our gardens with increased planting, the better they will serve us as places to relax, reduce stress and improve our mental well-being.

More plants for specific growing conditions:

Take a look at our pick of key plants for gardens in a changing climate.

For pollution

Winged spindle (Euonymus alatus var. rotundatus)
Winged spindle (Euonymus alatus var. rotundatus)

Box, Elaeagnus, spindle, beech, privet, bamboo, holly, Rosa rugosa, Viburnum, Camellia.

For flooding

Dwarf mountain pine tree (Pinus mugo 'Winter Gold')
Dwarf mountain pine tree (Pinus mugo 'Winter Gold')

Pine (such as Pinus mugo and Pinus sylvestris), blue spruce, fir, cedar and privet. Grasses, pinks and lawn grasses left a little longer.

For waterlogged soil

How to grow hydrangeas – Hydrangea 'Jogosaki'
Hydrangea 'Jogosaki'

Forsythia, Spiraea, Eucalyptus, hydrangea, willow, blue fescue, lamb's ear.

For cooling walls

Reduce your carbon footprint - grow more plants
Variegated ivy

Fuchsia, jasmine, ivy, Virginia creeper, Russian vine, Viburnum.

For insulation

Viburnum 'Dawn'
Viburnum 'Dawn'

Ivy, cherry laurel (Prunus laurocerasus), Viburnum.

For filtering noise

Firethorn berries
Firethorn berries

Berberis, box, spindle, hebe (at pavement level), beech, Photinia, firethorn.

For contaminated soil

Hornbeam hedge
Hornbeam hedge

Box, Photinia, beech, spindle, hornbeam trees and hedges, laurel, firethorn.