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Could a 4ft hedge be a windbreak from the southwesterlys do you think?

Our front garden is 4m x12m.  Many plants are windswept, and I wondered if a hedge along the south facing side would help.  Prevailing southwesterly winds.  Are there hedge plants which grow densely enough to make a difference?  Which would they be?  How thick would a hedge need to be to aid wildlife?  
So many questions ! Grateful for any advice, 😊 

Posts

  • Jac19Jac19 Posts: 496
    A hedge would definitely help, the taller the better.  My garden is in a wind tunnel and we have constant high winds up to 45 miles per hour in spring, and a few days per month the rest of the year, in our area  on the south coast of England. 

    We put up a low patio wall and my container plants that get ravaged by the wind now get some shelter when pushed against the wall.  

    We put a grill on one side of the patio and there is definitely shelter there for plants which don't get ravaged like in other open spots.  A hedge would do the same thing but much better.
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 87,840
    edited September 2021
    In my experience a lowish dense hedge can, like a fence, sometimes make more problems as the strong winds buffet and swirl against it, making eddies in the wind that can bash down plants.  

    A dense hedge can also reduce the light to the plants in its shadow, causing them to be etiolated and grow less strongly so they suffer even more from the buffeting of the wind. 

    Often a more useful approach is to create something that will filter the wind, so that can pass through but much reduced and without all the swirling about that is so damaging to plants. 

    A row of multistemmed shrubs will do this and can look more attractive than some dense hedges. Because the shrubs can frame rather than hide the view it is sometimes possible to grow them taller than you would want a solid hedge to grow in that spot. 

    😊 


    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.





  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,754
    Hi @Kary2 - unfortunately, 4 feet isn't very high, and the garden isn't very big, so it isn't going to make much difference. You'd need something much bigger to have much effect, which would then impact any internal planting you have, and it will also affect grass if you have a lawn. Plenty pf plants which are happy in shade though, so that needn't be a problem. You can try using individual trees/shrubs placed at intervals, as that also helps filter wind, but without seeing your layout, it's not possible to offer a good solution. 
    It's all about a balance. Hedging is certainly the best way to filter wind though.  :)

    Hedges don't have to be particularly deep to aid wildlife - the type of hedging is a bigger factor.  A mixed hedge of native plants with a variety of flowers, fruits/berries is more important, but any hedge will give cover, so it comes down to planting according to what you're trying to achieve.  :)
    Wind is a constant factor here, but you just get used to it. I've used various types of hedging in gardens, and all do much the same job. The problem with front gardens is that you're limited with height, unless you live in a rural, or semi rural area. There are rules regarding the maximum heights too.
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....



    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 87,840
    edited September 2021
    Don’t think there’s many parts of the UK that arent affected by wind at one time of the year or another. 

     In the winter our winds are snow and sleet bearing northeasterlies howling in from the Urals and Siberia with nothing between them and us but the North Sea …. south westerlies may be strong but they’re not Siberian 🥶 💨   

    The saving grace is that here our plants don’t usually  have soft growth when the winds are howling in …. Except this year they did 🙄. 

    There’s always an exception to prove the rule. 

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.





  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,754
    We were posting at the same time there @Dovefromabove :)
    We've had near gale force winds for a day or two here. Been very benign for a change this year, so we've had less of the breezy stuff than normal.
    Such is the way of things with the climate  ;)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....



    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • Thank you very much jac19, dovefromabove and fairygirl.  Food for thought😊
  • pr1mr0sepr1mr0se Posts: 1,193
    I planted a mixed hedge to act as a wind break.  The most effective shrubs have been the Cotoneaster Franchetii - tall enough but light enough to filter the wind.  They have protected my acer which was being dried to a crisp by prevailing wind.
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,754
    Cotoneasters are very good - important to get the right ones though. There's lost of varieties. 
    Great for wildlife too  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....



    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
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