High winds aren’t just a problem for gardeners who live on the coast. Even inland there are plenty of gardens at higher altitude which will regularly get a battering from prevailing winds.
It may sound obvious, but it’s crucial to use plants that flourish and enjoy growing in windy conditions. If you’re gardening in windy or exposed conditions, here are some suggestions for plants that are up to the challenge.
Need to protect existing plants in the garden? Read up about plants that are more susceptible to wind rock.
Stipa tenuissima foliage
A versatile grass, Stipa tenuissima has wispy yellow-green leaves and silver-green flowers that billow gently in the breeze. It’s the perfect plant partner for alliums and grows well in sunny sites.
Ornamental grasses look fantastic combined with flowers. Discover five combinations.
Geranium ‘Glenluce’ flower
Hardy geraniums come in all shades of pink, purple and white, and are a magnet for insects. G. sanguineum ‘Glenluce’ produces large, light candyfloss-pink flowers from spring to summer.
Take a look at these 10 beautiful hardy geraniums.
Brachyglottis compacta ‘Sunshine’
Brachyglottis ‘Sunshine’ foliage
Brachyglottis are tough evergreen shrubs with ovate hairy grey-green leaves, producing yellow, daisy-like flowers in summer. They tolerate drought and salty winds, so are ideal for coastal gardens.
Discover more plants with silver or grey foliage.
Hawthorn flowers and foliage
Hawthorn has fragrant white flowers in May, followed by round, glossy fruits or ‘haws’. Great as hedging, it attracts a range of wildlife, including bees, moths and birds.
Browse more wildlife-friendly ideas for the garden.
Allium cristophii flowers
With its huge globes of tiny star-shaped flowers, Allium cristophii is one of the most dramatic looking alliums. Plant it in large drifts in sunny, exposed borders among ornamental grasses.
Discover 10 great alliums to grow.
Eryngium variifolium flowers
This variegated sea holly Eryngium variifolium, is as tough as old boots, so it’s perfect for growing in coastal gardens. It’s small, grey-blue flowers appear above rosettes of spiny, variegated leaves in July and August.
Erysimum ‘Bowles’s Mauve’
Erysimum ‘Bowles’s Mauve’ flowers
Erysimums are perennial wallflowers blooming from early summer to autumn, continuing in mild spells. Plants are short-lived, but it’s easy to grow new ones from cuttings. A magnet to bees, butterflies and other insects.
Find more plants that are attractive to pollinators.
Cordyline ‘Firecracker’ foliage
With narrow bronze-purple leaves and a particularly spiky habit, this is a striking cordyline. Grow it in moist, well-drained soil in full sun or part shade. It may need protecting during the winter.
Nepeta ‘Six Hills Giant’
Nepeta ‘Six Hills Giant’
Catmint, Nepeta cataria, is a traditional favourite for silver borders. ‘Six Hills Giant’ is large and hardy, with grey-green foliage and lavender-like flowers that attract bees. Its leaves can be infused in hot water to make a tea.
Create a living windbreak
It’s a good idea to create a living windbreak by planting a hedge facing the prevailing wind. This will have the benefit of reducing wind speed, and so protecting other plants in the garden and providing a shelter for wildlife. Suitable hedging plants include berberis, hawthorn, oleaster and sea buckthorn.