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Advice for New Gardener Living by Heavy Traffic


Can anyone offer advice on what robust, hardy plants are best to grow in a yard that is exposed to traffic fumes?

My house faces north with a generous plot of concreted yard space fronting the property, separated from the highway behind an 8 foot wall (originally built c. 1903). Beyond the wall is a noisy, busy, traffic thoroughfare – the main one into town in fact.

The yard gets plenty of roadside fumes and exhaust particulates. It’s not a place to spend much time in, but it does present a vista to the front of the property which could be furnished with plants, if only for looking at. Owing to the concrete levels nothing can be planted in the ground, so potted plants or at least plants that can climb from pots are one of a few options (I imagine).

If you have any advice, whether about plant types or practical advice for managing the environment, I’d be delighted and grateful to hear as a new-to-gardening gardener.




  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 34,053
    I can't imagine the plants having any difficulty coping with the traffic fumes. If you  can then I'm sure they can. 
  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 11,429
    edited March 2018
    If you're going to use pots, then the bigger the better. Shrubs such as spirea or exochorda, and vinca for blue flowers. Plants such as Garrya for climbers, and you can also get shade tolerant clematis ( a search on the clematis suppliers websites will help). The traffic fumes are not such a problem for the plants as you might imagine, we are on a fairly busy road and it doesn't make any difference to flowering etc. My main advice would be to do your research as to what would grow well in pots in a North facing garden, get the biggest pots you can, give them a good start with decent compost, and make sure you keep them fed and watered. Good luck! 
  • Thanks AnniD, that's very useful, particularly advice on species.
  • Oregon Grape. Tough but beautiful, and very wildlife friendly.
  • Don't know it but will investigate. Thanks!
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