The South West London Gardener

How to Deal with Excessive Wind in a London Garden

dandelion blowing in the wind

Gardening in London comes with its unique set of challenges, one of which is the often unpredictable weather.

In the summer, temperatures now regularly hit above 30 degrees. In the winter, it isn’t out of the possibility to wake up in a white garden covered in a blanket of snow.

Another issue to consider is excessive wind.

In 2023, storm Babet bought with it winds of over 70mph, and this can cause havoc in a garden that is unprepared.

Picture this: You’ve just spent the weekend planting new flowers, only to find them toppled over by a gusty Monday morning.

Annoying, right?

But fear not, as here at The Southwest London Gardener, we are here to help. This blog is your guide to outsmarting the wind and keeping your garden as tranquil as a calm summer’s day.

Let’s take a look.

Understanding Wind in Your Garden

Wind in your garden isn’t just the enemy of your hat on a blustery day; it’s a force that can impact the very health of your plants.

In London, the wind can come from all directions, sometimes gentle and other times fierce enough to uproot your hard work or even bring down structures such as fences and sheds.

Knowing the typical wind patterns in your area is crucial.

Is your garden facing the brunt of the west wind? Or does the north wind bring a chill to your chrysanthemums?

Understanding this helps you plan your garden layout effectively.

It’s also a great idea to always check the forecast. You can now see accurate predictions for how fast and ferocious the wind is going to be, so if you’re expecting a gusty few hours, it could be time to act.

Windbreaks – Your First Defence

Your first line of defence against the wind is a good windbreak.

Think of it as a shield, protecting your garden from being battered by strong gusts.

Natural windbreaks, like hedges or rows of trees, are not only effective but also add to the aesthetic of your garden.

These are the ideal ways to maintain some greenery and provide some protection, but you must make sure they are strong enough to withstand heavy wind. Lighter trees may struggle with the strength and could break if left to withstand the elements for too long.

For those with smaller spaces that may not be able to fit these larger pieces of greenery, fear not.

Artificial windbreaks like fences or decorative walls can be equally effective.

The key is to place them strategically, so they block the wind without casting too much shade or obstructing the view of your beautiful garden.

This can be tricky, and if you do need help, consulting with an experienced garden designer is always a good idea.

While a fence may not be as aesthetically pleasing as some greenery, there are ways you can make it look better, such as painting it or doing a spot of vertical gardening to add some nature to it.

plants blowing in wind

Choosing Wind-Resistant Plants

Some plants are strong and can withstand a good deal of wind.

When selecting flowers and plants for a London garden, it’s wise to consider these hardier varieties.

Lavenders, for example, not only bring a pop of colour and an inviting scent but also stand firm against the wind.

Planting these in clusters can create a natural barrier, protecting more delicate plants nestled behind them.

Regular pruning and maintenance are also crucial in ensuring that your plants don’t just survive but thrive, even in windy conditions.

If you have a lot of dead branches and plants, these are more likely to break and snap in excessive wind. This could potentially cause more damage to other areas of your garden, so try and keep your plants in good health to ensure this is avoided.

Garden Structures and Accessories

Garden structures can be both functional and attractive.

A well-placed trellis or pergola can reduce wind speed and create a microclimate for your plants.

Just make sure these are properly installed and regularly checked. For example, if you notice your fence or pergola is starting to sway in a light wind, this is a sign of wear and tear, and it could mean a strong wind may cause serious damage.

Try and strengthen as best as you can, with new posts, or repairs when needed and your structures will always stand strong.

A recent example of this is when we got a call because the felt had blown off a local garden shed. Our team quickly got out and replaced it, making the structure safe again to the delight of our clients. You can see an image of the fixed structure at the end of this section.

And let’s not forget about garden accessories. Heavy pots and sturdy furniture won’t just withstand a windy day; they’ll ensure your garden remains a place of comfort and style.

Using pots to house your plants is an ideal solution, as they can be moved and protected if they’re not strong enough to face the elements.

This means you can move your precious plants inside on occasion to ensure they stay in the perfect climate for them.

And who says function can’t be beautiful?

A creatively designed wind chime or a delicately placed sculpture can add charm while serving a practical purpose.

garden shed felt roof

The Southwest London Gardener

Dealing with excessive wind in a London garden might seem daunting, but it’s definitely manageable.

With the right preparation and plant choices, your garden can be a tranquil oasis, come wind or high water.

Remember, each challenge is an opportunity to grow, both as a gardener and within your garden.

So, let’s embrace the gusts and make our gardens as resilient as they are beautiful.

And don’t forget, if you need any help in designing or installing a garden packed full of wind-resistant features, then the team here at The Southwest London Gardener can help.

Every project we work on is done with style and substance in mind, and yours could be next.

If you want to know more, then get in touch today.