We live in an age of unpredictability, and that is no more true than with the weather. Climate change has impacted the entire world, and while scientists are able to construct models, these models can only predict the basics. We do not know what major storms different areas will face, where high temperatures will cause wildfires, and when all the abundant changes will converge.
Future-proofing your garden and home in times like these is therefore no easy prospect. And the reality is that you cannot plan for everything. Some freak weather occurrences can render all your preparation moot. But there are steps to take to be as prepared as possible.
One basic preparation you should already have taken is to get homeowners insurance. You will need it if a massive storm is to damage or destroy your home and possessions. Be sure to check if you need specific insurance for floods and wildfires. In high-risk areas, coverage for these occurrences is not provided by private insurers and you will have to get insurance from government agencies.
But ideally, you won’t need to call upon your insurance. Here are the steps you can take to future-proof your home and garden in the face of climate change.
Reinforce points of entry
The parts of the home most likely to give in are the points of entry, i.e. doors and windows. As such, you need to make sure that these are in great shape, with structural integrity as well as proper insulation. A wooden door that has seen better days may not stand a chance in a major storm, and could fail to stop flooding in long-lasting downpours.
These are steps that anyone who lives in a region with regular hurricanes and/or extreme temperatures will already have taken. However, those living in temperate conditions do not need good insulation as urgently, and may be unprepared in an unprecedented storm.
Reinforce and maintain the roof
Roofs of houses are always vulnerable to problems. Leaks are common and every homeowner is expected to maintain their roof regularly. So much so that insurance will often not pay for roof leaks as they consider it owner negligence.
Reinforcing your roof will not only help maintain the structural integrity of your home, but will also make it less likely that water will damage or destroy the contents of your home.
Plant an indigenous garden
Gardens can be so easily destroyed by freak weather occurrences because they are not quite natural. Landscaping is a very human endeavor, and nature therefore pays no attention to our best-laid plans. However, if you stick to indigenous plants, your garden is more likely to flourish.
Indigenous plants have been growing in your area for millenia. They have withstood what climate issues the region has to offer and have adapted to survive. They are most ready for an increase in extreme weather conditions. By planting an indigenous garden, you are giving it the best chance of growing successfully and surviving the tough times.
Build raised flower beds
Flower beds are another not-quite-natural part of the garden. Even if you plant indigenous flowers, they are growing in isolation and therefore very susceptible to heavy rains. Waterlogging can kill your flowers (and herbs and veg) far more quickly and efficiently than a lack of water.
Raising your beds provides some relief for the plants. It allows for faster drainage, leaving enough oxygen for your plants to survive. By adding mulch, you can further improve drainage. Mulch can be made up of gravel, wood chippings, pebbles, and other tough materials found around your garden.
Speak to a landscaper
Gardening is one of those things that most people don’t take seriously enough to consider consulting a professional. It is easy to assume there is not much to keeping a garden alive. Simply water it regularly and plant suitable trees. However, there is a lot more to gardening than that.
A landscaper will be able to give you advice on how to structure your garden in the most effective way possible. They will be able to warn you of potential issues and help you understand why some ideas may not work. They will spot things that you would not have noticed no matter how much research you did.
Future-proofing your home and garden is crucial in a time where the natural world is changing. Neglecting this is a mistake you do not want to make.