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Weather Damage

With so much heavy rain and wind this year is there any advice anyone can give for damage limitation in the garden. We live just over the top of a hill (SW Wales) and have worked on our garden since moving in a year ago. It is a fairly free draining, acid soil and we are still finding out what will grow best. We have large trees and shrubs around the boundary but the garden is quite open so still gets wind cutting across flattening plants. The rain just adds weight so some plants just break.


  • I garden at 1200 ft  in the Pennines and don't think I suffer that much actual damage from wind, though it can often make gardening very unpleasant here. I know that 6 foot delphiniums and the like will never be practical here but there are things that help.

    Right plant right place - grow a lot of wild plants and their cultivated relatives, as most of them naturally cope  fairly well with British weather. 

    Jam pack them together, so they support  or shelter each other.

    Treat 'em mean - don't cosset them too much and make sure that they are properly hardened off before planting them out. Bought in plants will most likely have been raised in very sheltered, unnatural conditions and grow too soft to cope with the adversities of real life. Any you raise yourself can be acclimatised more gradually. Overfed plants also put on too much soft growth.

    Get supports in before you need them. Collect twiggy shrub prunings to use as plant supports, use canes and stakes and look at companies such as Harrod Horticultural, or g**gle for a range of other plant support options.

    As you develop the garden look for ways to add wind breaks, such as more shrubs or low hedges, or sturdy trellis or a pergola. Barriers that filter the wind are better than ones that try to block it (and will probably survive longer!) Use temporary windbreak netting to help the shrubs etc get established.

    Your garden style makes a difference too. Lots of hard landscaping with minimal planting is quite resilient but if it is too formal it may suffer if a significant tree or shrub is damaged. My garden is kind of 'chaotic cottage' , but it means that weeds or minor damage are less easily noticed, and it blends more and more into the surrounding countryside as you move away from the house, so a bit of wild nature is entirely in keeping. If you want your borders arranged just so, with perfect specimen plants, you are in for a hard time!

  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,358

    Hi Celia- I'm afraid it's a case of making a shelter belt for protection, which you seem to be starting to do!

    I'd suggest if you're planting up borders etc within the space already, that you might need to use windbreak fabric, which you attach to posts in the ground, to give some protection until you get enough shrubs established. At this time of year, you might even want to think about using bare root hedging which you could plant within that, to create screened areas. It's an inexpensive way to do it, but would depend on the amount of room you have. Ultimately, you remove the fabric and the hedge gives you green 'walls' to filter the wind and protect the plants.

     Alternatively, you could erect some proper screening to create areas (rooms) within the garden, and that would mean you could plant lots of things quite successfully. It depends on your budget and time etc though, and whether you have any DIY skills to do it yourself. I built a timber screen in this garden, which helps filter the wind. 

    Even a pergola would offer a good space for planting, and would also give some privacy for seating areas etc. 

    Can you offer a bit more info about the size of the plot and what you like? Some pix would help too image

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,358

    Think we're saying much the same thing B'cupdays!   image

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • LynLyn Posts: 23,089

    I would say exactly the same as well, I garden almost 1,000' up on a hill on the edge of Dartmoor.

    i think I must agree with the first poster that it's essential to grow things hard, I never feed the ground, just piles of home made compost as I have to agree about the tall soft growth. 

    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • Thank you for your replies. I have added a pic. The outlook is towards NE and the wind cuts across diagonally from left to right. I have planted a spotted laurel in a gap in the left hand boundary behind a shed but will take time to grow. 

    imageApril looking from upstairs in house about 4pm.

    I have probably used too much feed so will keep that in mind. A lot of the plants I bought from plug plant offers and grew them on, planting out possibly too quick to fill space. Learning a lot from this garden. Still very much WIP.

  • Gardens are always a work in progress, and more than 50 years on I'm still learning. It's why gardening is so satisfying image

    You've got a nice outlook there. We bought our house partly for the views and I'm always having to balance that against the need for plant protection. The view generally wins!

    Last edited: 16 September 2017 08:47:39

  • Thanks Buttercupdays (love the name). Yes, this is our first year here and a new experience from our coastal past in West Sussex. The views are what sold it to us and we want to work with that. We had a lot of overgrown clearance to do last winter so I'm pleased we have got this far. I find gardening very therapeutic so get a bit down when my efforts get scuppered, especially by the weather, but I haven't given up yet and look forward to trying new ideas.

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