I was so desperate to have space for growing, not only ornamental plants, but also edibles. It was my ‘maternal instinct’, to nurture plants but also, I was and still am, appalled at the learnings of so many different chemicals that go into the food that we buy. I was very fortunate to be given an opportunity to have a small poly tunnel near by for which I am eternally grateful. It is my oasis.
But the first thing I got, even before the tunnel, was just a pretty simple raised bed with higher sides for extra protection from the wind. So that’s always a good idea to start with. Our problem here is mostly the wind but also the rain. And there is no other way but to try and establish some shelter first and foremost. Hedging, is what I’m talking about and though I love evergreen hedges, my boyfriend convinced me to have a row of simple willow trees in the first rank. The idea being that a deciduous tree won’t get so battered in the winter storms as it’s got no leaves to be stripped of it. It grows it’s leaves in the Spring so they have a much better chance of survival.
You can see the row of willows in the above image. It is protecting the escallonia hedge which, by now is almost the same height as I am. Anyway, it worked for us and though it’s quite a bit of maintenance for my boyfriend to keep it trimmed so neatly, it was well worth it.
So to recap, No 1! Create shelter or simply improve the conditions that you have in your garden if possible to make choosing the right plant for the right place, to actually work.