'They definitely won't survive outdoors here'


We all experience it.

We all have to make allowances for it, adopt to it, and plant accordingly.

After all, it's not the fault of the plant if pieces break due to the sheer force of the wind around the garden, when it strikes.

And, it's not like I haven't planted gardens with wind tolerant plants. Living along the coastline, one expects and experiences onshore winds all the time, and as I've advised people or planted gardens, this is always a factor considered.

So how come I'm so surprised with my garden? Well after moving here about 20 months ago, I did realise we were about 3/4 of a mile (approx. one Kilometre) inland from the sea, with quite a mature planting of trees to the North of us, and a good scattering of trees on the other sides. I interpreted that all of this would mean a reasonably sheltered garden, with a nice micro climate for being able to grow plants that would be a little more on the tender side.

Not so. Turns out its a windy site that also is a bit of a frost pocket.

The people who lived here previous to us were visiting last weekend, and they were very complimentary about how the garden was looking (which was nice) and more-so about how the wind-breaks were having such a beneficial effect, meaning they could sit out and enjoy it.

On a 'normal' day, we have a fresh breeze that is fine, if your moving about, but less inclined for the family to sit out.

On a windy day, there is a solid wall of air constantly moving; again fine if your out and about (these are the sort if days to visit the beach and see the waves), but not good for some plants.

On very windy days, as one person said of the house, 'it feels like the roof is going to lift off!'

So when Tom, a friend if mine visited recently and saw the couple of sunflowers growing in the glasshouse, he aptly said it 'they definitely won't survive outdoors here'.

That my friends, sums it up.

I will continue to implement my wind-break plan (i.e. create small sheltered pockets within the bigger garden) and try different, and sometimes more appropriate plants.

Btw, the plant in the picture is a wind damaged Salvia microphylla var neurepia. A favourite of mine that is a native of the American Southwest. Although frost tender, once it starts flowering in June, it carries on until first frosts. We'll have to see what we can do to jeer this beauty at its optimum best.

Happy gardening.