Hardy plants for cold, exposed gardens
Here we recommend plants for coastal gardens subject to strong, salt-laden winds and exposed gardens high above sea level with little in the way of protection. Exposed borders have to withstand a revolving cycle of drying winds and scorching sunlight in the summer, followed by freezing gales, snow and ice in the winter. Thankfully, a number of plants will still thrive in these challenging conditions with adaptations including tough, leathery or hairy leaves which provide protection from salt damage and reduce moisture loss. Virtually all of our plants are grown on our own Staffordshire plant nursery at 750ft above sea level, thereby creating hardy plants that will be tolerant of the challenging conditions in your garden.
Firstly, create some shelter by installing a wind-breaking hedge or row of trees, staking trees and installing windbreak netting against newly installed hedging plants. Use laurel hedging, yew hedging or, alternatively, Aucuba Crotonifolia (Spotted Laurel) to create a dense, wind-defending screen. In the border, dense, low-growing conifers such as the bright yellow Thuja Sunkist can be grown in an arch around a mixed heather planting to create an attractive display. Rugged roses such as Rosa Swany provide colourful blossoms even in the most inhospitable conditions, whilst the berried Sorbus Aucuparia or weeping Kilmarnock Willow provide other interesting features.