Six tips for windproofing your garden

3rd May 2024
Estimated reading time 5 minutes

There’s no escaping that our climate is changing and bringing with it an increase in the number and severity of storms we see each year. And it’s not just exposed gardens that are taking the toll from high winds and driving rain. Whether your garden is open to the elements, or relatively sheltered in a city suburb, stormy weather can take its toll on the aesthetics of our lovingly tended gardens.

To preserve all the love and attention we lavish on our green spaces, it therefore makes sense to do what we can to help our gardens adapt and stand up to the storms when they come.

So here are a few practical tips for how to windproof your garden which will not only save precious plants, but also create a well maintained and beautiful space.

1. Give trees some TLC

Trees are susceptible to damage and disease, so it’s expected that they’ll lose the odd branch here and there. But strong winds can shake them down earlier than expected, causing damage to nearby people, plants, structures or buildings. 

If you have mature trees in your garden, schedule an annual check for signs of disease and damage and prune out where necessary. This is a job often best left to the professional, so organising a regular inspection by a tree surgeon helps create not just a safer environment but also a healthier longer-lived tree.

looking up into mature tree canopy

While checking tree health, it’s also a good idea to remove any excess ivy from the crown. Having too much results in a top-heavy shape making a tree more prone to catching the wind and toppling over.

Evergreen trees like conifers which don’t shed their leaves in the autumn, are also more vulnerable to strong winds. So, keep these to a reasonable height by pruning out the tops to help them remain stable in storms.

2. Upgrade to windproof fencing

Traditional fencing panels with overlapping slats are one of the main victims of high winds. These create a solid barrier to the wind, resulting in a shaking and battering in strong gusts. This means most of us are short of a few panels and posts by the end of winter.

Switching to wind resistant fencing is a much more effective option. These panels are specially designed to allow the wind to move harmlessly through the panel while still providing the practicalities of privacy, security and delineation between areas of the garden.

With a wide range of styles available, these semi-permeable fences are also a great way to give your garden an instant face lift.

Popular design include:

  • Venetian (with a small gap between each slat)
  • Hit and miss (where the boards are alternately fixed on the front and the back of the panel)
  • Woven (such as traditional interwoven willow, hazel hurdles or palings)
Hit and miss wind proof fencing

Source: Jacksons Fencing

3. Replace your fences with hedging

Another great wind proof alternative to fencing is hedging. These natural garden borders provide a perfect green backdrop to flowers while also fulfilling the task of being a haven for wildlife.

So if sustainability and biodiversity are important to you, then replacing all or part of your fencing with a hedge will give you an effective barrier to the wind and a fantastic natural habitat.

Choosing hedging that’s suitable for your location is important if you want it to thrive. So have a look around your local neighbourhood to see what’s growing.

Then decide whether you want to plant a single variety such as beech, laurel, yew, box or privet to achieve a formal clipped appearance.

formal garden hedge

Or create a country-style mix using stalwarts such as blackthorn, holly, hawthorn, field maple and dog roses. By interspersing these hedging varieties with fruiting trees such as crab apple and damson you’ll also introduce height, interest and an edible harvest.

4. Create natural windbreaks

Another simple way to slow down the wind and prevent it from wreaking havoc around the garden is to use strategic planting to create natural windbreaks.

Planting a bank of ornamental grasses or bamboo around delicate plants and vegetables can filter and soften the effects of the wind.

bank of ornamental grasses

A trellis with climbers like roses, honeysuckle, jasmine or clematis around a seating or entertaining areas will protect from chilly breezes, provide shade and create a sense of privacy and seclusion.

Trees such as pleached lime or hornbeam lend an elegant air and deflect the breeze. As do espaliered fruit trees.

5. Store garden equipment

garden seating and lighting

How many of us have watched as an unexpected storm causes turmoil in the garden as unsecured outdoor furniture, children’s toys or garden ornaments get taken for a ride by the wind.

These flying objects can cause untold damage as they whirl around the garden, or into yours or neighbouring property. So when a storm is forecast, or at the end of summer, make sure that anything lightweight or untethered is safely stored away in sheds or garden storage boxes.

If storage space is limited, cover items and securely anchor by placing heavy paving slabs, bags of compost or sand on top of them.

6. Secure your garden buildings

Garden buildings like greenhouses, sheds and garden rooms should also be checked regularly for signs of rot or weakness. Pay particular attention to windows and doors. Can these be closed and locked securely? Are there any lose or broken glass panes that need repair? Is the roof in good condition or got any holes that will let in water?

Dealing with these simple repairs in advance will ensure lose fittings aren’t ripped off by the wind, and contents stay dry and secure inside.

We hope by following these simple tips we help to keep your garden looking its best even after bad weather. If you’d like further help in weather proofing your garden against future storms please get in touch. We’re local landscapers who specialise in garden transformations that are as practical as they are beautiful.

Six tips for windproofing your garden

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