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Anywhere the wind blows

26 July 2021
windy sneak peek
Grasses blowing in the wind provide wonderful, textural movement.

It doesn’t really matter – there are plenty of plants that will continue to flourish as the wind whips around them.

Words Veronica Armstrong

If you live in a windy place like Wellington, you will know how challenging it is to keep certain plants alive. Wind can be very damaging in the garden – it dries out the soil, can burn and damage foliage and flowers, and even rock plants right out of the ground. But there are plenty of options for those shooting the breeze.

Providing your precious plants with some shelter is the obvious thing to do. However, take care which sort of shelter you use. Solid fences and walls may seem the best solution, but they deflect the wind over top and it becomes stronger on the leeward side. A better option is to create windbreaks and staggered plantings that filter the wind through and slow it down, causing less damage, or create a sunken garden, where the wind passes over the top.

Plants that are wind tolerant tend to be low-growing and spreading, are deep-rooted, and have pliable branches that flex in the wind. Their leaves are often thick and waxy, or they may be small and narrow, like grasses, to reduce moisture loss and decrease wind resistance.

Read more in our August issue.

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