Right Plant, Right Place: Part 3 – The Elements

Our final consideration of Right Plant, Right Place concerns the potential threat posed by more exposed locations, especially by frost, wind and salt.…

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  1. Right Plant, Right Place: Frost and Wind Resistance

The difficulty with frost resistance is that micro climates abound and it is quite common for a single garden’s temperature to drop way below the average of the surrounding terrain. If you are unsure whether your garden is indeed a micro climate, invest in an outdoor thermometer. Fortunately, though, the vast majority of hedging plants can withstand, once established, most of what our climate throws at them.

The danger wind represents for some plants has little, if anything, to do with its actual force, but rather its chilling and drying effects. The impact of prevailing winds is also subject to micro climates. The following plants, though by no means fragile, should not be planted where they will be fully exposed to the worse of the elements:

  • Escallonia Macrantha AGM
  • Griselinia Littoralis

Hornbeam (Carpinus betulus) is tough and will survive exposed locations  – it’s a preferred plant for hedging in Germany – but will be less likely to keep its leaves in autumn and winter

  1. Right Plant, Right Place: Coastal Locations

Plants that have evolved successfully in coastal regions have an inherent salt tolerance. But do remember, they don’t need salt and so can be grown inland as well. Notable salt tolerant plants include:

  • Common Box (Buxus Sempervirens)
  • Dwarf Box (Buxus sempervirens ‘Suffruticosa’)
  • Escallonia macrantha rubra ‘Crimson Spire’
  • Euonymus fortunei ‘Emerald ‘n’ Gold’
  • Griselinia littoralis AGM
  • Lavandula angustifolia ‘Hidcote’ AGM
  • Photinia Red Robin (Photinia x fraseri ‘Red Robin’)
  • Rosemary Miss Jessopp’s Upright AGM (Rosmarinus officinalis ‘Miss Jessopp’s Upright’)

Right Plant, Right Place: The Cheat’s Hedge

Of course, planting in containers can solve any of the six issues we’ve discussed. You can fill it with the soil and place it in the location that best suits the plant(s) it contains. And if you introduce a row, straight or curving, of hedging plants growing in large, aesthetically pleasing containers, you have what we call a Cheat’s Hedge.