The wind and your landscape go hand in hand.
Without the wind, landscaping will not grow to its highest potential. The flowers need the wind for pollination. Cooling the heat from sun’s rays beating down on the foliage of the plants. Blowing away the dust and pollutants that settle on the plants. These are added benefits of a strong wind.
But the wind can also be a double edged sword. As cooling as it can be in the summer, in the winter that same wind can be brutal. Personally, I think the wind can do more damage than anything else to the landscape.
That’s why it’s so important the plants you pick are right for their location. For instance, the wind coming off the sea is going to be filled with salt. Even though you may not think your plants are in line to get hit by the salt from the waves, the wind can carry that salt just a few feet farther, dropping the salt on the plants. It goes without saying; the plants living in these conditions will need to be tough.
The wind can do more damage during cold weather then the drop in temperature. The air temperatures might not get down to freezing, but the constant wind and chill factor can quickly burn the leaves and damage plant cells. You might not see all the damage right away. The first sign of damage might be turning the foliage a reddish brown or distorted. Other damage may not show up until the air temperatures warm back up. Then you will see the leaves yellow and drop. One of the most tender plants in our area are the many varieties of Hibiscus.
The wind can do heavy damage by drying the foliage out of the plant as well. Even though the soil may feel slightly damp, the constant blowing of a strong or warm wind blowing against the leaves will pull moisture out of the plant faster than the roots can pull it out of the ground. This why it is important to know what part of your landscape faces the strongest, potentially damaging winds. These are the areas where you’re going to want to plant sturdy plants. You might even want to plant hardy plants to buffer more delicate flowers or lacy ferns.
We can’t control the way the winds blow, nor the temperature of the wind. But we can plant smartly, using native plants where possible, and providing protection to the more delicate plants.
The point is to enjoy our gardens. Knowing the environmental factors of your space and using the proper plants will help you achieve this.