Choosing Hedging for Exposed Gardens
Trying to provide shelter to an exposed or coastal garden doesn’t have to be difficult, Here, we go through the problems involved in having a garden with these conditions, and how to overcome them.
Windbreaks: consist of a line of defence such as a hedge, fence, single or double row of trees, and can therefore be created in most gardens. Any exposed garden, or garden with direct coastal outlooks, will benefit from a windbreak which will reduce wind speed, preventing damage to evergreen foliage, wind-rock of shallow-rooted plants, broken fences, and shattered greenhouse glass. It also creates shelter, allowing a wider range of plants to be grown. A windbreak will also reduce damage from salt-laden winds in coastal areas. It can also provide a habitat for wildlife, especially if made of mixed species.
Planting and maintaining living windbreaks
Living windbreaks require site preparation and planting as for hedges. Deciduous shrubs are best planted from autumn through till early spring; evergreens in spring. Buy small, young plants, which usually establish well. Shrubs should be planted fairly close together: 30-90cm (1-3ft) between most plants within the row is ideal. Keep new plantings well mulched, watered and weed-free until they are established. Rows of hedges can be pruned annually to keep them dense
Plant selection for living windbreaks – Here are some to choose from. Plants marked* are ideal for salty & windy coastal conditions:
Acer campestre (field maple), Carpinus betulus AGM (hornbeam), Corylus avellana (hazel), Cotoneaster Franchetii*, Crataegus monogyna* (whitethorn/hawthorn), Elaeagnus ebbengei*, Escallonia macrantha*, Griselinia*, Hippophae rhamnoides* (sea buckthorn), Prunus spinosa *(blackthorn), Berberis. Pyracantha, Rosa. Rugosa* (hedgerow rose), Tamarix* (tamarisk), Taxus baccata (yew).