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Mixed Flower Bed
This mixed flower bed is absolutely full of colourful plants. The selection of annuals, biennials and perennials from around the world, all with different coloured flowers and leaves, ensures that there is something to see here all year around. Purple sage, also known as Salvia, is native to the arid conditions of the western United States and grows best in sandy, dry soils. In contrast, the alpine plants like London pride are native to areas of high elevation, which are exposed to freezing cold. Some can dehydrate their cells to prevent frost damage, others produce their own antifreeze and some live out their whole life cycle during the warmer months, dying/going dormant before the winter only to regrow in spring.
Ireland can support such a range of plant species due to its unique position in the path of the Gulf Stream. While countries at similar latitudes freeze over regularly e.g. Newfoundland, Moscow, the warm air/water flowing up from the Gulf of Mexico largely keeps Ireland from dropping below 0oC. Changes in global temperatures can affect the flow of fluids (think of a bird riding a column of thermal air), and too much disruption will cause global currents to shift. As the climate continues to change and temperatures rise in certain areas, temperate Ireland will likely begin to see more storms, regular flooding events, drier summers, and the range of biodiversity that the island can support will continue to shrink.
Fun fact: There are a few species known as “resurrection plants” that can survive extreme dehydration for months to years, completely drying out before coming back to life again when they come in contact with water.
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