Climate change is changing the gardening game in Queensland's flower capital

The Queensland city of Toowoomba boasts Australia's longest and proudest floral histories, but a new breed of green thumbs has to get savvy and adapt to a changing climate.

Participants in the springtime Carnival of Flowers say seasons are shifting, and the traditional "nana" gardens filled with fragile flowers may soon be a thing of the past.

"They're using better water-saving techniques and generally protecting their plants from the extremes that their gardens are starting to suffer," retired horticultural educator and avid Toowoomba gardener Mike Wells said.

The most distinct change Mr. Wells and other gardeners have noticed is the increased unpredictability of winter rainfall and compression of spring.

"As a born-and-bred Toowoomba boy, when I was a kid, you could set your watch to the way weather behaved in winter," Mr. Wells said.
According to the Bureau of Meteorology, rainfall from July to September has decreased by 27 percent and 9 percent overall in the last three decades.

"By the end of September into October, we're starting to get summer-like temperatures, so I think spring has been compressed," Mr. Wells said.

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