A toppled over bin, an outdoor dining table upside down and a parasol shoved into the fence at the bottom of your garden. Does this sound like a regular occurrence in your back garden? If so, then your garden could do with some garden wind protection. For most of us, a windy night will give us minimal fuss, but there are those of us here in the UK who struggle to protect our outdoor spaces. There are loads of easy-to-follow steps you can take to ensure your outdoor space is wind protected. From wind-resistant plants to prepping your garden before a storm, we’ve got lots of great tips. 

What types of gardens are most at risk?

It is unsurprising that coastal towns and cities in the UK will experience more windy weather conditions than that inland. Coastal gardens can expect to Another type of outdoor space that is at risk of strong winds are gardens on balconies. Both of these types of outdoor spaces need to be treated differently to those who experience less wind. 

How can make my garden wind-proof?

Like most things in life, failing to prepare will prepare you to fail, and preparing your outdoor space is no different. That is why a garden wind protection plan needs to be thoughtfully created to ensure your plants, trees and garden furniture are all well-protected. You can do this by pre-planning your garden design or using your know-how and experience of living in a windy garden to plant the right plants for your space. It is a little more tricky to windproof a balcony, but there are certain things on the market that you can find. Check out this balcony which features glass panels that will help prevent dangerous winds. 

How to stop wind in the garden?

You may think that purchasing fencing or building a wall will break up the wind, and prevent it from damaging your garden. However, what will happen is that the wind will hit the wall or fence and then create turbulence on the other side. We recommend that you use hedging or wind-resistant shrubs to prevent the wind from damaging your garden. It’s fair to say that when adding a hedge or shrub the thicker the hedge the better. If these two options aren’t possible for you to add, then blocks of plants will help minimise the effect of wind on your garden. 

What plants will block out wind?

Winds and breezes are obvious things to consider if your garden is by the sea, high up a hill, or you have an exposed balcony. Many gardens and patios are affected by winds and breezes too, perhaps where winds are channelled by neighbouring buildings. Choose wind tolerant plants that are happy (and look good) in winds and breezes and make the most of your gardening time and energy. 

The Best Plants For A Windy Garden:

  1. Eupatoriums
  2. Geranium 
  3. Miscanthus 'Kleine Silberspinne'
  4. Stipa tenuissima
  5. Evergreen Brachyglottis

Alys Fowler suggests planting a sturdy eupatorium at the back of a border to protect smaller plants at the front. Read her other suggestions in this article, ‘Tough plants for windy plots.’

Low growing geraniums are a favourite of ours: the toughest around seems to be Geranium macrorrhizum (various varieties). As it is evergreen and good in the shade it’s a good all-rounder for any plot.

Japanese anemones fluttering in winds and breezes look delicate but are tough. I have grown them on both dry and damp soils to good effect. In a very windy area, they may need staking until established. Read more about this lovely plant in our earlier blog.

winds and breezes

The narrow silvery leaves of Miscanthus 'Kleine Silberspinne' turn yellow in autumn. Fluttering in winds and breezes, the summer flowers almost sparkle, starting red and turning to silver.

Stipa tenuissima is perfect for a windy spot. The movement of its elegant leaves and flower heads is pretty and relaxing to watch.

Trees and shrubs for winds and breezes

Evergreen brachyglottis is a small shrub with rounded, hairy, grey-green leaves and yellow daisy-like flowers in summer that tolerates dry soil, winds and breezes and even salty seaside spots.

Escallonia (many varieties) is the shrub of many seaside towns. Small, shiny evergreen leaves and bright flowers for months on end make this plant a delight. It is not keen on very damp soils and although it copes well with salty winds, it doesn’t do its best in cold wet winds.

winds and breezes

Hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna) is a tough tree or hedging plant that withstands most of what the UK climate can throw at it. White spring flowers are delicate and the red berries that follow in autumn attract wildlife and add a splash of colour to your view.

Manage winds and breezes to make the most of your plants

How to plant in a wind-prone garden

Planting: winds will loosen the roots of young plants and may break fragile stems or burn leaves. A temporary barrier of garden mesh or purpose-made garden polythene (the one with holes in it) can give them a good start.

Sheltering: some sort of  ‘shelter belt’ between your plants and the prevailing wind will help a new garden and protect special plants. In a big plot plant a belt of trees and sizeable shrubs to break up the wind. In borders, wind tolerant plants can do the same job. On balconies and patios, take the same approach on a smaller scale or add a purpose-built barrier such as a willow or bamboo screen.

Staking: if in doubt, stake a young plant with purpose-made plant support or a homemade circle of sturdy twigs or canes at the height of the plant. Chosen well, established plants shouldn’t need staking, but, in a windy garden, you can circle plants with twigs. (New growth quickly hides the twigs.)

How to water in a wind-prone garden?

Wind tends to dry out leaves and soil, so take care to ensure the watering needs of the plants you choose are met. Plants that like dry soils, and plants with leathery leaves usually don’t need much attention in winds and breezes, but if you see scorching on your leaves, either move the plant or keep on top of the watering.