Best Shrubs For Planting In Windy Areas Of The Garden
Viburnum tinus 'Eve Price'
Follow our hints and tips for year round colour in a problem windy spot
Here at Hayes Garden World our most asked questions are about what to plant in certain problem areas. A lot of our customers have a windy area of the garden so this article and video will give you some idea what shrubs are suitable for that difficult spot. Wind can not only cause stunted growth but can burn the leaves; after being repeatedly burned the plant will eventually die due to lack of moisture.
The most important thing is to establish a windbreak around your garden; either a fence or a screen of tall shrubs or trees. Make sure that it does not completely block the wind, as a strong gust will just knock over the fence, but filters and slows the wind. If you have a large garden you can also further divide the space to slow the wind even more. Beware of using conifers as they look tough but the side which bears the brunt of the wind will burn and go brown.
Most plants which can withstand the wind have either tough and leathery leaves or shiny glossy leaves which offer no resistance. We recommend Elaeagnus or Griselinia for a tall screen; if you want something a little smaller the compact Mahonia ‘Soft Caress’ would be ideal. Most mahonias are quite aggressive with tough spikey leaves so are not really suitable if you have young children; but ‘Soft Caress’ is an excellent child-friendly option. Viburnum tinus is also a great option for both spring and autumn interest with the lovely white flowers followed by blue/black berries. Cistus is a good choice as the leaves are a light silvery green, which make a nice contrast to the dark green of the other shrubs; it is a Mediterranean plant so also needs really good drainage and full sun. Cotoneaster horizontalis is a small prostrate shrub which is really tough and also has 2 seasons of interest with the white flowers in spring and red berries in autumn; which the birds absolutely love. If you plant it against a wall or fence it can also be trained to go upwards as well as across the ground.
All our options are also suitable for seaside gardens which not only have to struggle with wind but also the salt which burns the leaves.