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Harsh Exposed windy conditions. How to garden against the forces.


seaseide windy condtionswitch hazel bush for salewindy exposed gardening wexford

Gardens that suffer from extreme exposure place some of the most arduous conditions on plants and gardeners. In order to have success you have to create a shelter belt by planting plants, to diffuse and  break up the wind.

You don’t want to compress the wind or force it over a solid fence this creates more problems.

So begin on the perimeter, plant some trees hedging suitable for such conditions. If you can afford it Put up windbreak to two metres high.

Then plant larger tougher plants in a staggered, and semi random fashion to

the prevailing wind. (Phormiums the New Zealand flax can be ideal).  An additional screen of wind break on the perimeter can save you money so the initial cost will be worth it.  If your near the seaside a more coastal plan might have to be considered. But generally you can have any garden you want if you do the work and wait a bit.

Coastal planting can be very specialized but if you just want to make shelter and then deal with the ornamental gardening later, then follow this outline.

Remember to plant a thicker screen where the main brunt of the wind comes in to your site. Look for points of compression like building near by or walls.  I usually suggest planting several offset beds that over lap. Use some conifers some tall thin or open ever grees like Eucalyptus trees, some bushy ever greens and fast growing shrubs, Even privet can be planted in the side facing into the garden and then cut back and removed when the garden begins to take shape. If the wind is very bad and being compressed perhaps plant taller plants in between the staggered shelter belt.

 You need some tall plants like Eucalyptus to break up higher winds. But make sure you stake them well. Once you have done this the range of plants that can be grown within the garden is so much greater and not much different from anywhere else.

The choice of plants when the shelter is established is about the same as in a normal sheltered garden also make sure you don’t avoid the middle of the site, you have to plant diffusers all the way round, concentrate on the prevailing winds.


The main problem an exposed and windy garden causes is wind-chill and wind burn, but also moisture loss and general survival stress. Anything that has to work harder to survive is  ultimately weakened by the stress. Eventually it becomes terminal.  Some people think wind chill is only a problem in cold countries but it can be a problem anywhere. So feeding well is important as is soil conditioning. Also some plants hate the wind like Photinia. Ive seen it planted all over Rosslare and im watching most of it curl up.

Another oversight is the plants requirement for food a regular and strict feeding program needs to be established and stuck to. If you can do this you will get the results. As I said before a plant under Stress has to work hard to make food from the soil; if you give them food it bypasses this requirement and the plant can concentrate on getting bigger to combat the forces of the stress. Also tonics and vitamins can also reduce losses.  Super thrive is a great product to help alleviate stress.

Once you have your shelter belt planted and your feeding it, and it’s growing, then begin work on other areas. This is a garden that’s going to take more time so be prepared but the results can be great, and rewarding.

You could also try a different approach which is to make many mini gardens one or two at a time and using wind break netting and begin close to the house. So you can have some use of the space in perhaps less time. smal bed or measeure out 10X10 feet and plant it up and protect it for a year or two.

We can do this work for you, or you can arrange a local expert for advice. Getting a consultant in to assess just how bad your site is or how good it is might save you a lot time and effort. It may also prevent you from doing un necessary work. I often consult for clients landscapers and the end user of the garden before they buy land or a house to get an assessment of that they might be able to do.

A good garden can add a lot of real value to a house especially in a exposed region. Look at the prices your self. Houses with established weather breaks and nice gardens will go for money, then a similar house with out such improvements. It makes the property more useable private and feels warmer.

This is a list of some of the plant that can handel windy sites. How ever there are hundreds. Ask us if your not sure. We are h appy to help you.

Crataegus monogyna

Berberis stenophylla

Prunus laurocerasus

Sambucus niger

Viburnum rhytidophyllum

Spiraea nipponica

Larix decidua

Alnus incana


Viburnum tinus

Salix alba

Ilex aquifolium