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Plants for Gardens by the Coast

Plants for Gardens by the Coast


Strong, often salt-laden winds, icy gales in winter and drying winds in summer that scorch foliage present a challenge for planting in coastal gardens but there are plants that will tolerate this sort of situation but by providing windbreaks or shelterbelts in the form of hedges, trees or netting you will expand the range of plants that can be grown and living in the South West also helps as the climate is usually warmer and  more forgiving than the North or Scotland. Hedges, trees and shrubs are much better windbreaks than solid walls; walls create turbulence, whereas plants filter and slow the wind down.


Windbreak or Shelterbelt?

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.

Shelterbelts: are formed of tall trees and shrubs (over 4.5m/14½ft) planted in three or four staggered rows and are therefore only suitable for larger sites so we will concentrate on windbreaks.

 

Suitable Windbreak Plants

Planting is best done in early autumn, winter or spring with bare root hedging being a good option. It really is surprising what a difference they make and these are some of the best plants to choose.

Elaeagnus x ebbingei

English Yew (Taxus baccata)

Hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna)

Italian alder (Alnus cordata)

Sea Buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides)

Small-leafed lime (Tilia cordata)

Tamarix

Rosa Rugosa

Sambucus Nigra (Elder)

Prunus Spinosa (Blackthorn)

Once you have planted your windbreak further planting can be done in two stages, first, choose plants that will cope with full exposure while the windbreak is growing plus some plants for slightly back from the sea that will tolerate some exposure, then finally stage two is the plants to go in when the barrier is established.

These are just a few suggestions so please ask us if you would like something specific but are not sure of its suitability.


Trees that will tolerate full exposure

Acer platanoides (Norway maple)

Alnus glutinosa (common alder)

Cratageus (hawthorn)

Cupressus macrocarpa

Populus alba (white poplar)


Trees for slightly back from the sea

Cercis siliquastrum (Judas tree)

Betula pendula (silver birch)

Ginkgo biloba

Cordyline australis (cabbage palm)

Laurus nobilis (bay)

Syringa vulgaris (lilac)

Laburnum

Sorbus aria (whitebeam)

Ilex (holly)


Shrubs that will tolerate exposed sites subject to salt spray

Berberis

Euonymus japonicas

Prunus spinosa (Italian buckthorn)

Pyracantha

Rosa rugosa

Sambucus nigra (elder)

Tamarix


Shrubs for slightly back from the sea

Arbutus unedo (strawberry tree)

Ceanothus

Cistus

Phlomus chrysophylla (Jérusalem sage)

Rosa rugosa

Lavandula (lavender)

Buddleja


Shrubs for planting after a windbreak is established

Abelia grandiflora

Choisya

Cotinus coggygria (smoke tree)

Forsythia

Hebe

Helianthemum (rock rose)

Hibiscus syriacus

Lavatera

Phormium tenax

Potentilla fruticose

Rosemarinus officinalis (Rosemary)

Spiraea

Syringa (lilac)

Viburnum bodnantense


Climbers that will tolerate coastal sites include

Clematis alpine

Clematis montana

Hedera helix (Ivy)

Lonicera periclymenum (honeysuckle)

Solanum crispum


Suitable hardy perennials

Alchemilla mollis

Agapanthus

Aubretia

Canna

Crocosmia

Echium

Eryngium maritima (sea holly)

Erysimum

Euphorbia

Lychnis Coronaria (rose campion)

Rudbeckia

Sedum

Stachys byzantina (lamb’s ear)

Verbena bonariensis

Phormiums


Suitable annuals & half hardy perennials

Antirrinhum

Calendula

Cosmos

Papaver somniferum (opium poppy)


Suitable ornamental grasses/palms

Festuca

Helictotrichon sempervirens

Miscanthus

Cordyline

Restios

Posted by Charlie Groves

Charlie is the manager at Groves Nurseries.  He is the 6th generation of C.W. Groves to run the garden centre. 

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