What you can always guarantee when you live high up on a hill is a breeze. A couple of weeks ago when the sun was blazing hot we certainly welcomed it, but on other days it can make things a little chilly.
I’m undecided yet how best to deal with creating an area of shelter because the garden isn’t only about the view, it’s more a case of the garden being “in” the view and I don’t want to compromise that feeling.
What is sure, when you have a windy site, is that timber garden fences just won’t cut the mustard – they won’t last five minutes. This, for me, is one of the joys of living so rurally now, no more timber fences that seem to always annoy the neighbours, and quite often don’t last more than a few years.
In Leatherhead, we changed our fence twice in 10 years – it can be an expensive affair!
The best way to deal with windy sites is to create a shelter belt using plants and trees as they diffuse the wind, but still allow it to pass through. If you get it right, you can reduce wind speeds by up to 75%.
Where you have the space, this should be a combination of trees and shrubs and/or a hedge so that the wind is slowed through each of the layers.
You need to choose plants that hold up to the wind as tender and more delicate plants won’t like the conditions. Going for coastal plants can be a safe bet as they’re used to salt too. Escallonia is great, as is Hawthorne, but take care to choose something that fits with its surroundings.
In our garden, native hedging would feel more appropriate and it might be that a small section near a seating area will be enough to diffuse some of the breeze when we’re sitting out. I certainly need to give it some more thought – even a strategically placed shrub could be enough for what we want to do.