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where and how


ok i realy need some help i realy do not no where to start or what to do…
wht i would like to start with is some sort of hedging to provide some shelter from wind as where i live is very oppen
any sugestions as where i cld start???

More blog posts by noxinorkney



oh and i also forgot to mention i am very new at this neva done any gardining be for

5 Feb, 2009


You could try native hedging - that's the cheapest way of making a hedge. Your local Nursery should be able to sell you the plants to put in - they might call the plants 'whips'. A double row is best, for a thicker hedge (see below) This might include Hawthorn, Blackthorn, Hazel, Field Maple, Beech and others.You can cut these back when they reach the height you want. Birds and insects like native hedging! Our local Nursery is selling them now until March. They charge under a pound per plant.

If you wanted an evergreen hedge that has flowers in spring - summer, there's Escallonia - depending on which ones you buy, Escallonia 'Apple Blossom' is pink and white, there are other Escallonias on the reddish side of pink as well.
That grows quite fast and you will need to prune it after it flowers each year.Escallonia is much more expensive, but the plants would come in pots and be bigger.

To plant your hedge, you will need to dig a trench and place the small plants in at 18" - 2' intervals, then back-fill the trench and water them. For the native hedge, it's better to dig two trenches 2 ft apart and plant two rows, offset, so that the hedge is thicker as it grows.

I hope all this helps! Good luck with it!

5 Feb, 2009


hi noxinorkney
I found this by googling' hedging for exposed coastal areas'~you might find some of the plants useful. Burncoose Nursery is in Cornwall and they have the same sort of high winds straight off the sea that you will have~maybe you should contact" Islander" who also lives on Orkney~type his name in the search field and you will find his profile comes up.He recently lost a wall due to high winds~he grows fuchsias!Best of luck!
There is a lot more info in the article below which you can find at - 51k -

Planting in Coastal and Windswept Locations
In This Article

* Introduction
* Fencing - the first line of defence
* Creating a shelter belt
* Putting it all together - the need to sacrifice plants

The purpose of this article is to try to help solve the problem of exposure and avoid wasting time and energy planting things which are frankly unsuitable and therefore an expensive mistake. There is no one right answer to what is suitable in any particular garden but there are often a great many more wrong answers. There is also the need for patience while your planting gets established and good luck in avoiding the worst of the weather in the early years after planting.

Back to Top So you start with a bare plot which is to be your new garden. The location is extremely exposed because it is on top of a hill or near the sea with no shelter at all. The first thought is quite naturally for fencing to create some shelter. In many locations this is simply a waste of time and money since it will not stand up to the force of the wind and may well cause far more damage to the rest of your property if it blows out of the ground as it probably will. Wind hitting an immoveable object will nearly always win!

Worse still, wind will simply bounce over a solid object like a fence and is just as strong on the other side. So your fence can actually be just a liability as far as protecting anything on the other side of it is concerned.

Think for a moment about what happens in nature and you will readily see that the filtration of wind is nature’s way.

In the 1950’s at Rosewarne in Cornwall a new system of windbreaks was developed what we now call LATH or slatted windbreaks. These are not permanent or particularly durable structures. They should instead be regarded as temporary wind filtration units so that plants in their lee can become established. Lath is therefore the best outer line of defence. Similar more robust structures are used in Scotland and the North of England to prevent snowdrifts on public roads.

Modern techniques of manufacturing have replaced lath with new filtration systems made from plastic or fibre. Many greenhouses in exposed positions are now protected by large black mesh windbreaks and similar structures are used to protect fruit and vegetable crops. In gardens green mesh is more often used. However tightly woven green mesh can hold the wind and it billows so it again tends to blow away or pull over its posts. For best results a small square meshed windbreak screen with ½-inch to 1-inch square holes has much the same result in filtering the wind as the more traditional lath windbreak.

Shelter Belts
Back to Top Lath fencing is probably only a realistic option in moderately windy situations. On the edge of a cliff, for instance, it will simply blow away unless you regard it as just the first line of defence.

Behind the first line of defence you then need to establish a secondary and, ultimately more robust, windbreak or wind filtering system to dissipate the effects of the wind on the garden behind where you hope to grow more choice and tender plants.

Fencing cannot just be used in isolation but, rather, in conjunction with other plants. The next and crucial choice to make is as to what are the most readily available and relatively cheap plants suitable for your particular conditions?

Here are some of the more popular choices.

* Tall growing shelter belt trees for larger gardens - Where you wish to create a long-term shelter belt there is nothing quite like Pinus radiata (often called Pinus insignus or the Monterey Pine); The Monterey Pine, for speed of growth or its ability to withstand salt sprays and wind. They live only 100 years in our high rainfall Cornish climate but are the backbone of Tresco’s outer defences and the outer protectors of most Cornish woodland gardens. For a conifer which provides more wind protection from top to bottom, Cupressus macrocarpa is also fast growing and resilient. Those of you who know Caerhays may remember passing the huge tree at the lower lodge which is in the very teeth of every southerly and westerly gale and only yards from the beach.

Traditionally, Cornish woodland gardens used beech in conjunction with and fronted by Pinus radiata, to create a dense filtration system.

The other strong contender for the best windbreak tree in coastal or windswept locations is Quercus ilex, the evergreen oak. You will see this used extensively at Trebah and Trelissick. Ilex drop their old leaves in early summer, just as the new growth emerges, but, in winter, their leaves remain unsinged by even the most severe gale. Again the attraction is that they cut out wind from top to bottom and, unlike Cupressus macrocarpa, the branches only start to split out in very old age.

In the main other native trees such as oaks are too slow growing for a good shelter belt. Other native trees like sycamores frequently have their leaves burnt off by late spring gales and salt spray. They also grow in odd shapes as a result of trying to escape persistent wind damage. In the main avoid anything other than these 3 suggestions but be prepared to be patient and also remember to stake everything with at least one stake and check all your planting after every severe gale to see that stakes have not broken or the plants broken away from their stakes.

* Tall growing shrubs which make more formal and dense shelter belts -

laurocerasus prunus Laurel – In the hurricane of 1990 some of the laurel (Prunus laurocerasus) shelter belts at Burncoose and Caerhays were completely stripped of all their leaves but they were not dead and, more importantly, they had done their job in filtering and dissipating wind while sheltering the more choice plants behind. In coastal locations laurel should be planted thickly over a large area. Do not worry if the leaves get burnt and brown initially; given time the plant will more than cope. Plant in the spring to give young plants a relatively quiet growing season and do not plant in shade.

* More formal shelter belt hedging -

There are a number of more conventional and favourite choices for garden hedges in exposed positions as well as some less well known, but perhaps equally common, hedging plants which will do the job just as well. The favourites include:-

Escallonia Escallonia - This type of hedge has the great advantage of having flowers. Many varieties are semi deciduous so can lose some or all of their leaves with no ill effect. The other attraction is that, in season, the plant can be acquired cheaply and in quantity as it can be open ground grown as a hardwood cutting rather than in pots.

HawthornHawthorn/blackthorn - This may be preferable in more rural areas because it is in keeping with the type of hedgerow or shelter belt you will find on cliff fields which were originally hewn out of coastal scrub of much the same species. Prickles have their uses as cattle or burglar deterrents but they may well not be what you want if you have pets or small children.

Elaeagnus x ebbingei 'Coastal Gold' Elaeagnus – Despite their spines these make one of the toughest and more colourful hedges and provide excellent protection even in the strongest of winds. There are several different varieties to choose form with different coloured leaves.

Fuchsia Riccartonii Other long-standing favourites include Fuchsia Riccartonii. This can be trimmed as a hedge or just left to grow wild. In late summer it does perhaps attract too many bees and wasps for comfort if it is situated near a patio.

In the less well known and less tall growing category:-

Shrubby honeysuckles such as Lonicera nitida and Lonicera pileata. These lonicera form dense thick mats of evergreen foliage which are able to withstand tremendous amounts of wind.

Rosa rugosa Rosa rugosa is often thought of as the most prickly of roses best suited to deterring unwanted children, dogs or cats from your garden. However, as a deciduous plant which suckers readily into dense clumps, it is not at all a bad windbreak plant even though it grows to only about 3 feet.

Olearias Another group of plants which make excellent evergreen windbreaks are the Olearias. Several species come from coastal areas of New Zealand where they are well used to wind. Olearia macrodonta is a firm favourite with its glossy grey leaves and attractive daisy like flowers. For those lucky enough to live on the Isles of Scilly or other seaside locations in West Cornwall, Olearia traversii would be the hedging plant best suited to salt laden gales.

Berberis Several different types of Berberis make attractive hedges but only the evergreen species such as Berberis thungbergii are really good windbreak plants. Another favourite with really aggressive prickles is Berberis ottawensis ‘Superba’ but this would need to be planted with some other evergreen subject for best effect.

Tamarisk Pink Cascade Tamarisk have the great advantage of being able to grow in sea sand with only the most minimal amounts of conventional soil. The plants grow to a great age and can develop huge gnarled trunks in seaside locations but, if clipped and trimmed from an early age, they make an excellent beach hedge.

Put it all together – SACRIFICE PLANTS
Back to Top In our imaginary garden we now have our lath windbreak and our laurel backup and then, thirdly, our more conventional escallonia hedge. We have created 3 tiers of wind protection which we expect to be scorched to a greater or lesser extent especially in the early years. We expect losses and, in coastal areas, we may also expect rabbit damage so wires and tree spirals are an essential part of the planting process. However this will all take time to grow up and you may well still not have enough shelter to enable you to grow more choice plants in the lee.

It is perhaps time to introduce the concept of ‘Sacrifice Plants’! These are generally quick growing but unattractive plants which should be viewed as utterly expendable. They may precede your new windbreaks or they may form a second line of defence which can perhaps be cut down and removed later.

At its most basic level there is nothing really to beat gorse (Ulex europaeus) far withstanding the worst of the elements and cutting out under-draught in a cliff situation but you may well not really want it actually in your garden!

At Caerhays and Burncoose, as well as most Cornish woodland gardens, the traditional sacrifice plants are Rhododendron ponticum. This will colonise almost anywhere and form a thick protective layer. Although ponticum has been in the UK since the middle of the 18th Century our masters at Defra still consider it to be a non-native and invasive, and therefore “BAD”.

However as a ‘sacrifice plant’ it is second to none and the fact that it is now being killed off in some parts of the country by Phytophthera ramorum is not a cause for rejoicing as Defra would have us believe – quite the reverse in fact.

A more daring approach which is used both at Caerhays and Burncoose is to use camellias as sacrifice plants. Like ponticum they grow well in partial shade and they bulk up quickly. If you use the more common williamsii varieties such as St Ewe orDebbie they make excellent screens especially for planting something more choice by way of a rhododendron in the lee.

There are many other quick growing sacrifice plants with short lives which can quite literally get thrown away after a few years. But, as they grow exponentially, they quickly provide some basic shelter. Prime examples of this might include Lavatera, Hippophae rhamnoides or Atriplex halimus.

5 Feb, 2009


Blimey Arlene - that's keep Nox busy for a while reading that!

Nox - re your hedging, as you live in a very exposed spot up there in Orkney, it might be as well to have a look round at what your neighbours are growing successfully. If you don't know what the plants are, take some sneaky pictures and we'll id them for you. Clear pics please - long shot and close up if poss. :-)

5 Feb, 2009


~that's why I told him to get in touch with Islander who has an established garden and knows the pitfalls!~Sid ~it's a good article but a bit heavy!Good stuff if you can plough through it!

5 Feb, 2009


Sorry Arlene - I didn't read it - I've only got an hour for lunch! LOL ;-)

5 Feb, 2009


Yes, good idea to get advice from Islander.

Hello Noxinorkney ~
It was helpful that you put the photos on GoY.
It means that any further questions, we can see your house and surrounding area which makes things easier.

Meanwhile. You have plenty to read just with Arlene's answer !!!

5 Feb, 2009


Hello! I think Arlene has covered everything but to add to this - I've recently bought some hedging plants online and they have a section on their website that gives advice on which hedging to choose for all different situations/conditions, may be worth a look:

5 Feb, 2009

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