With fluctuating weather systems and increasing populations, our towns and cities are on the frontline of rising temperatures, flash flooding and degraded air quality. So just how can some of our common garden plants help?


Arit is joined by Dr Tijana Blanusa, RHS environmental scientist and specialist in plant physiology, whose extensive research into the benefits of greening our cities reveals how plant function could give us vital protection against the future of a changing climate – and how you can use this information to make the right choices in your garden.

About our guest

Dr Tijana Blanusa leads the RHS Ecosystem Services Research Programme, identifying the structural and functional traits of plants that can be isolated, optimised and employed to benefit the wider environment.

She tells us: “Most of the UK population nowadays lives in towns and cities. Domestic gardens form a large proportion of UK urban areas (up to 30 per cent) so what we grow in them and how we manage them can have a significant environmental impact. My research contributes to the understanding what structural and functional traits plants need to provide environmental benefits (like cooling, rainfall capture and air quality improvement) well. In my role as a scientist for the RHS I am able to pass this knowledge on so that our gardeners can make planting choices that not only look and feel good but which benefit the environment."

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