It’s such a tragedy when all your hard work and effort goes to waste because wind damages the lovingly-tended plants in your garden. A windbreak is a logical solution and is basically just a layered barrier of assorted trees and shrubs that provide protection from gusts of wind.
Even aside from shielding your treasured garden, windbreaks in the garden can prevent debris and loose foliage from your neighbors’ trees from littering your yard. Depending on the size, you can also minimize the noise and dust that penetrates your home from wind squalls outdoors.
Position, position, position
Just as in real estate, positioning is vital for your garden windbreak. If you plant it in the wrong place, it may end up being purely ornamental. But if you want it to be functional as well, you have to determine from which direction the wind most commonly comes.
If you’ve lived in your home for a reasonable length of time, you’ll probably already be aware of its vulnerabilities. You’ll have noticed wind damage caused to plants and be wishing to prevent it in future.
For best results, your garden’s windbreak should be erected so that it is perpendicular to prevailing winds.
You can’t just go out and buy whatever species of plants and shrubs that you like because they may be unsuited to the task. You want your windbreak to thrive and flourish so that it will grow quickly and densely in order to be effective.
Any kind of shrub that is not recommended for where you live should be avoided because it will simply take far too much maintenance and care to get it to grow to the height required and you may find yourself back at square one, pulling it out and replacing it with a more suitable species.
Some shrubs and trees provide outstanding protection from the wind, but they in turn block the view from your windows. If what you choose is likely to grow very high, you’ll need to keep trimming the height regularly to ensure that the bulk grows within and not up. Keeping on top of fast-growing, tall trees can be time consuming so be mindful when you buy them. For those interested in privacy, these will be the perfect solution!
The layering approach to windbreaks in the garden is preferable to merely installing a solid barricade of vegetation. The latter simply diverts the wind – at greater force – over the top, and increases the pressure behind it. Layering dissipates the wind as it tries to travel through what you’ve built. Plan for shrubbery as the first line of defense, backed up by taller trees to act as your garden’s fullback.
Hedges are ideal as windbreaks, especially in larger gardens because they can be planted to protect particular sections. Use them as bodyguards for your prized roses or your delicate petunias and enjoy the sense of calm that can be found within their protective field.
Evergreen hedges and in fact, evergreen plants period are the best windbreaks in the garden for obvious reasons. They offer year round foliage to shield your garden from wind, whenever it may pick up.
For the best indication of what plants to use as windbreaks in your garden, consult your local gardening store because they will usually only stock what’s suitable for your area. They’ll also be able to tell you the growth rates and other important information that can help you decide what to plant to keep your yard safe from the ravages of wind.
photo by Mara 1 – CreativeCommons Attribution