I see my garden as a barometer of climate change | Catriona Sandilands

I worry about my beautiful, compromised plants, exposed to unseasonable ice storms and heatwaves

The clematis is in full bloom right now: a riot of purple flowers up the side of the deck, aiming for the wall.

Being a vine, a clematis will twine around anything that crosses its path, including itself, at all available opportunities. The result is often, even with a short period of gardener inattention, a snarly mess; the leafstalks curl, and curl, in on themselves in order to find some – any – purchase. In this situation, if you want to coax the vine outward, you have to unwind the intricate tendrils very gently and place them against better climbing scaffolds: a thin stick, a wire. One long Canadian spring afternoon in May, that is what I did: slowly and carefully took apart the knots, suggesting to each shoot a less tangled path up a new, metal trellis.

Related: Canada heatwave: more than 30 deaths reported as extreme weather continues

What can I do, concretely, to mitigate change, to adapt to it, and even to resist it?

Related: Climate change threatens rare British orchid that tricks bees into mating


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