Hedging Plants for Exposed Sites
When using the term ‘exposed’ to define a planting site, we refer to locations that face the full force of severe weather conditions and the multiple challenges they bring. Exposed gardens are open to these circumstances as they are often found on hillsides or flat areas where there is no protection by natural barriers such as a small woodlands, surrounding trees or hedges.
Without any natural defence, gardens in exposed sites are frequently subjected to strong winds. This can effect developing plants as it can impede plant growth by severely stunting trees and shrubs, whilst preventing young seedlings from establishing. Not only does planting in exposed sites leave your plants vulnerable to high mph winds, it makes soil conditions more difficult as it is dried out by the extreme gales, waterlogged by heavy rain and frozen by cold temperatures.
Wind is one of the gardener’s worst enemies, and in exposed sites, they experience the full brunt of its force. Reducing the amount of wind from entering an exposed site is vital for your plants survival and the most effective way to do so is with a wind breaking hedge. Hedging acts as a filter as wind weakens while passing through a dense structure and thick foliage. For exposed windy gardens, hedging should always be a priority option as a garden border. Solid barricades such as walls or fences will deflect the battering wind upwards and over, descending with forceful turbulence on the leeward side, damaging any plants within its reach.
Large evergreen hedging plants such as Cherry Laurel, Privet or the conifers Leylandii and Yew, make fantastic wind breaking hedges that display dense, attractive, green foliage providing year round cover. Tall deciduous trees such as Hawthorn knowingly lose their leaves in winter, but the intricate structure of twigs and branches is capable of refining strong winds, still producing an effective windbreak throughout the frosty season.
The types of winds and conditions exposed gardens are vulnerable to is determined by location and it is important to choose plants that will thrive in these difficult settings.
Exposed coastal gardens experience winds highly rich in salt which causes severe leaf burn and defoliation of certain plants. Remember, you don’t have to be positioned right on the beach to be affected, as salt laden air can travel up to six miles inland. Add torrential rain, extreme gales, shallow and dry soils, heightened temperatures and rocky surfaces, and exposed coastal sites prove a tricky area for a garden to flourish. We supply a variety of hedging plants perfect for exposed coastal sites as they can tolerate the salty winds and difficult growing sites. The selection we stock offer wonderful colours, shapes and textures to suit your every gardening need.
Here are our best hedging plants for exposed coastal sites:
Other plants suited to less extreme coastal sites: