Plants for Windy and Exposed Sites

Prevailing winds can cause a lot of damage with in a garden, it is therefore very important to select the right plants that can cope with the challenges of these conditions and possibly make some structural changes to or within the garden. The creation of a bank to counteract the effects of wind and exposure can be a good idea, hopefully creating more sheltered areas to protect the more vulnerable varieties you may wish to have in the garden.

If building a bank, it could then be planted with windbreak type plants such as Dogwoods popular for their colourful winter stem colour or Bergenia Cordifolia Purpurea an excellent very attractive ground cover plant, both giving a very different but pleasing effect. When planting trees and hedging on windy sites it is a good idea to select plants that have some flexibility enabling them to sway in the wind. The best sort of shelter, if space allows is a layer of trees and shrubs staggered to allow the wind to filter through them, hardier plants for this, good soldiers at the back of the borders, are Quickthorn, Birch, Alder, Holly, Eleagnus and Privet to name a few.

Willows planted as a living screen can create an excellent ornamental feature whilst allowing the wind to permeate through its arching branches, developing a tunnel that could be walked through would be another thought. If there isn’t space for a larger planting screen then using wattle fencing made of something like Hazel or even the use of windbreak netting to allowing plants to establish themselves would be advisable. Planting smaller plants is advisable, staking them essential and mulching them to give them every chance would be best if patience will allow! Lastly, keeping plants watered is important as the wind will dry the ground very quickly.