d) Why do some plants seem to suffer, as if they were not sufficiently irrigated or fertilized?

Keeping in mind what has already been expressed above, there are several reasons that justify the parched appearance of some specimens. For example, in the summer some aloes seem to curl up, but this also occurs in nature. The visitors should then take the opportunity to appreciate and deepen their knowledge on the ability of some plants to survive in very arid climates, becoming flourishing again as soon as the water becomes available again.

The summer conditions of the GBH, not exactly pleasant, already existed in the time of the Hanbury’s, so much so that Thomas, the founder, used to close the garden to the public in order not to show the state in which it was pouring during the drought period.

Moreover, most plants are quite well suited to a climate with two arid periods (a more pronounced in summer and a shorter in winter). Finally, water is a resource that tends to be scarce even for drinking use and a more eco-sustainable orientation of gardening is that of xeroscaping where plants that survive by intrinsic characteristics or adaptation to reduced water availability are preferred. The scarcity of water also affects the possibility of absorption of mineral nutrients and in GBH the use of fertilizers is limited to exceptional cases.

Last update 6 April 2023