Shelter for Coastal Gardens

 Without shelter it will be difficult, if not impossible for the coastal garden to thrive. The sea view is wonderful, but with careful planning the view can still be there and a shelter also provided for the planting in the garden.

Remember it's not only the wind, but also the salt spray and sand that create the damage in the coastal garden.

The best sort of shelter filters the wind through, rather than blocks it. A solid wall will generally provide protection for a distance of about twice its height - i.e. a 3'.3" foot (approx 1 metre) wall will protect for 6'.6" feet (approx 2 metres), but then the full force of the wind will come down in a series of mini tornadoes that will do more distruction than if there were no wall there at all.

A wind filtering fence with an opening of 40% and the solid part 60% gives the optimum balance. Such a fence will provide protection for up to forty times its own height. The wind speed will creep back up and eventually be close to 90% but without the devastating wind eddies of the solid wall. A good type of fence is 'hit and miss'. This is created from either vertical or horizontal fencing boards going up both sides of the posts, so that they are staggered, alternately. This allows the wind to funnel without causing a lot of turbulence.

There are trees and shrubs that will withstand all but the worst storms, and these will be the ones to place as the first line of defence. These include:

Deciduous (leaf dropping):                                       Evergreen:

Sea Buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides)               Gorse (Ulex europaeus)

Tamarisk (tamarix)                                            Tree Purslane (Atriplex halimus)

Sycamore (Acer pseudo-platanus)                      Euonymus japonicus 

Willow (Salix alba)                                            Privet (Ligustrum vulgare)

Blackthorn (Prunus spinosa)                               Corokia x virgata                            

Elder (Sambucus nigra)                                     Olearia haastii

Box Thorn (Lycium chinense)                             Rubus spectabilis

Alnus glutinosa (common elder)                         Pinus nigra (European black pine)

Crataegus x persimillis (Hawthorn)

Populus alba (white poplar) 

Having made the first line of defense, one might want to plant in some trees that can withstand the elements. If there's plenty of space then rows of trees can be planted - however, this may impact on the sea view depending upon the lay of the land.

Suitable trees include the sycamore, willow and tamarisk from the list above, and also:

Deciduous                                                                    Evergreen

Thorn (Crataegus oxycantha)                               Holm Oak (Quercus ilex)

Wych Elm (Ulmus glabra)                                     Monterey Cypress (Cupressus macrocarpa)

Cornish Elm (Ulmus carpinifolia 'Cornubiensis')          Leyland Cypress (x C. leylandii)

Gurnsey Elm (Ulmus carpinifolia sarniensis)              Monterey Pine (Pinus radiata)

Black Italian Poplar (Populus serotina)                    Maritime Pine (Pinus pinaster)

Swedish Whitebeam (Sorbus intermedia)                 Bishop Pine (Pinus muricata)

Ash (Fraxinus excelsior)                                      Austrian Pine (P.nigra austriaca)

Acer platinoides (Norway maple)                           Pinus sylvestris (Scots pine)

Sorbus aucuparia (rowan)

Gingko biloba

Suitable shrubs can be viewed on the shrubs for coastal gardens pages.


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