Some gardens, particularly coastal ones, suffer from the extremes of weather that an exposed position will provide, so today we’re looking at plants that will survive such conditions.
While it is not the key focus of our topic, soil quality is important too and although different plants may have different preferences as below. They all need strong foundations, as one of the major problems with an exposed area is wind affecting the root structures of whatever’s planted there. Staking will also help.
Floral & Hardy’s Top Ten Plants for Exposed Positions:
Artemisia absinthium ‘Lambrook Silver’
This evergreen perennial has a bush-forming habit and aromatic, silvery-grey foliage in all seasons. It will also bear sparse sprays of small, deep yellow flowers throughout summer. It thrives in any soil as long as it’s well drained. Height 75cms.
Betula utilis jacquemontii ‘Jermyns’
Betula utilis is a stunning, white barked tree with a conical habit. It has dense green foliage later yellowing at the onset of autumn and long brown catkins in spring. Well-drained soil is best. Height 12ms+
Carex buchananii is a clump-forming, evergreen grass with eye-catching, coppery foliage and matching, though insignificant, flowers in the summer months. Again any sort of well-drained soil will do. Height 75cms.
Echinacea purpurea ‘Doubledecker’
The ‘Coneflower’ is a tall, upright, herbaceous perennial and mid-summer to early autumn it will bear pink daisies with vivid brown centres and, in the second year, and unusual extra layer of petals from the central cone, thus giving it its name. It can be planted in any well-drained soil. Height 1.5ms.
Eryngium planum ‘Blauer Zwerg’
This attractive perennial has a clump-forming habit with long, branching, blue stems and clusters of teasle-like, lilac-blue flowers. While it is a deciduous species, meaning that its silver foliage will only show from spring to autumn, the flowers are really good when dried for floral arrangements. They do well in dry, poor soil. Height 50cms.
Escallonia ‘Donard Radiance’
This variety of Escallonia is a vigorous, medium to large, evergreen shrub with small, leathery, dark green leaves and clusters of rose-red flowers in summer. It prefers a well-drained soil. Height 2-2.5ms.
Hippophae are deciduous plants that vary in size between a shrub and a small tree with thin, silver leaves and insignificant yellow flowers, but this foliage is evergreen and, with both sexes of the plant, one can admire their plentiful orange fruits in autumn. Well-drained alkaline to neutral soil is preferred. Height 4-8ms.
Lonicera japonica ‘Halliana’
This variety of ‘Honeysuckle’ is a vigorous, evergreen climber with twining stems and delicate, droplet-like, heavily scented white and yellow flowers all summer and bright green foliage. Moist, but well-drained soil of virtually any type is fine. Height 4-8ms.
Tamarix ramosissima ‘Rubra’
This variety is so-named for the ruby tint of its flowers, which will arrive in abundance. It is a deciduous shrub with rosy, plume-like panicles throughout summer and grey-green foliage from spring to winter. Plant in well drained, acid to neutral soil. Height 3-4ms.
The ‘Common Gorse’ is a dense, bushy evergreen plant seen growing on many a common, with spiny, green foliage and clusters of small yellow, pea-like flowers abounding in spring. It prefers a poor, sandy/stony soil. Height 2ms.
By Josh Ellison