8 messages
09/04/2013 at 11:42

Hello,

I live in a flat in London and together with some neighbours we look after the roof garden. It's a big patio 8 floor up with some raised beds and lots of pots surounded by a low wall and some higher fencing at various points with ivy growing up.

Our main problem is wind. There's a constant low level wind and very strong gusts when the weather is bad. Two small gladioli plants werre completely shredded this winter after all the protective summer flowers had gone. We also lost our bean crop last year.

We have two protected beds at the edges of the roof which seem to be doing fine but the main bed in the middle (long thin shape) can't sustain much. A neighbour has found a coastal tree for the centre piece which we're hoping can withstand the battering but we'd like some advice on other plants that can resist the wind and perhaps provide protection for others - either in the bed itself or in pots around the edges. We're looking for attractive perenials, shrubs or small trees, flowering a bonus.

Thanks for your help.

09/04/2013 at 11:53
I think you need to consider erecting some sort of barrier to mitigate the effects of the wind.

A recent post mentioned windbreak netting, frm A**z*n as I recall.
09/04/2013 at 12:44

Agree with figrat Simon. Filtering the onslaught is probably what you need to address first. A solid barrier would create different problems so fig's suggestion about netting is right. You mention the island bed being long and thin-is there any way you can make it short and fat! This would give the plants a chance to protect each other and create a little micro climate. Grouping your pots together and using some of the low growing grasses could be effective but it does depend on your own likes and dislikes. Coastal/seaside plants should do well as they are adapted to the conditions and most books will give you lists of them as well as websites. Plants with silvery leaves might do well too as lond as they have a little shelter as they can cope with dry conditions.

 

09/04/2013 at 13:22

A hedge in large pots of hardy trees like Scots Pine (keep them pruned to keep them a hedge) would give you a wind break.

 

Gladioli die over winter and come back every late spring/early summer.

09/04/2013 at 13:24
I wonder whether the weight of a Scots Pine hedge, albeit in pots, might be an issue on a roof garden.
09/04/2013 at 13:39

I have also wondered about weight issues with roof gardens, although it must be lovely to have one up above there... how exciting I think... how do they make it secure from collapse..?

...please don't get alarmed - I'm a nervy type...

I note you live in London so not too severe a climate, I think I would go to town with it - so to speak - and plant Tamarix which is lovely by the sea, or quick growing evergreen with scented white flowers - Olearia Macrodonta - which, strategically placed, would block a nuclear bomb I should think...

09/04/2013 at 13:52

Perhaps you could use bamboo (several pots) to make some sort of windbreak which would help the rest of the plants.  Other windbreaks could be made from wooden trellis too - and this would also give you something to use for growing things like the beans you mentioned.

14/04/2013 at 09:58
hypercharleyfarley wrote (see)

Perhaps you could use bamboo (several pots) to make some sort of windbreak which would help the rest of the plants.  Other windbreaks could be made from wooden trellis too - and this would also give you something to use for growing things like the beans you mentioned.

Bamboo does not like windy sites - they will be bare sticks within weeks.

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