The Met Office is to warn gardeners to plan for a warmer climate by cultivating drought-tolerant plants such as palms, olives and Mediterranean herbs and to resign themselves to the death of the traditional lawn.

It believes this year will be one of the hottest on record.

The Met Office will issue the warning at the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Hampton Court Palace flower show this July.

"If you are planting long-lived plants like trees then you might want to choose a species that can cope with hotter, drier, summers and warmer, wetter, winters," said Vicky Pope, the Met Office's head of climate change. The decision to take the message to gardeners reflects concern among researchers that the public has still not understood the threat of climate change.

Pope said the 2003 heatwave, which was blamed for 35,000 deaths across Europe, could be regarded as cool by 2060. Such warnings are backed by a survey from the Waste and Resources Action Programme, in which 56% of gardeners reported a longer season for grass cutting.

Charlie Dimmock, the television gardener, said: "The best way to protect gardens from climate change is to use heat-tolerant plants and ensure they have good soil."

The Met Office is sticking to its warnings despite research last week arguing there could be a lull in climate warming until at least 2015.

Guy Barter, who oversees the RHS's advisory service, said lawns would become untenable in parts of southern England.

"The best place in Britain for gardening is going to be the Lake District or the west coast of Scotland," he added.