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.