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Flowering Plants For Dry Windy Conditions 

Flowering Plants For Dry Windy Conditions 

garden design for specific spaces plant selection and care

If you are not planting flowering perennials on your site because it’s windy, you’re missing out!

The truth is, you can plant flowers and get them to flourish when you choose the right ones and combine them, for example, with ornamental grasses. Ornamental grasses give structure, and they shelter your plants from the wind.


Some Tips for Sunny and Windy Garden, Please

I got a question from Päivi who reached out and sent her question to Viherpiha Garden Magazine's 'We answer' column, where I'm one of the garden professionals answering readers' questions.

Päivi's question:

"We have a sunny, open, and windy plot on the hilltop. I would appreciate some tips on perennials that are suitable for our garden."
Päivi from Lahti

My answer:

Since Päivi is writing from the town of Lahti (USDA zone 4) and their yard sits on a hilltop, I assume the soil in the garden is free draining. In that case, the open and sunny plot would be a perfect place to plant perennials with tall ornamental grasses. Ornamental grasses would also give some shelter from the wind for the flowering plants.


My List of Fab Perennials for Dry Windy Site

As for perennials for an open sunny and windy site to combine with ornamental grasses, I would suggest e.g.

  • catmint (Nepeta x faassenii),
  • yarrows (Achillea) such as a yellow fern leaf yarrow (A. filipedulina) or red cultivars of common yarrow (A. millefolium),
  • crimson scabious (Knautia macedonica),
  • eastern purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea),
  • woodland sage (Salvia x sylvestris),
  • and hardy geraniums (Geranium) such as bloody cranesbill geranium (G. sanguineum).

Oriental poppies (Papaver Orientale group) and dense blazing stars (Liatris spicata) would also be perennials worth trying.




 The hottest and dryest areas in your garden would be perfect for low perennial groundcovers like creeping thyme (Thymus) and various stonecrop species (Sedum). They are also evergreens, which is always a bonus. You could also add some summer flowering bulbs like Star of Persia alliums (Allium christophii). They would combine beautifully with perennials and grasses. 


Plant Ornamental Grasses to Protect Your Perennials from the Wind

As for ornamental grass, I would choose a hardy 'Karl Foerster' feather reed grass (Calamagrostis x acutiflora 'Karl Foerster') and plant it in clumps of five, seven, or nine. Alternatively, you can also plant them like a ribbon that flows through your planting area or place them against the dominant direction of the wind at the back.

On an open site situated on a hilltop, you have a lot of light and enjoy distant views with sunrise and sunset. You might have a lot of options where to place your planting areas for the most impressive effect. Even if the options were more limited, it is good to notice that ornamental grasses are usually at their best grown in a place where you can see the morning light or evening sun shimmering through them.  


The post is based on my answer to a reader's question published initially in a garden magazine Viherpiha.


Essential plants for windy gardens

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Could natural planting style be for you? 

Two things yo need before planting your garden in the natural style

The 5 plant categories you need for natural planting style


Want more ideas for planning your garden's planting areas? Take my Garden style quiz and download my free Garden Style Guide (according to YOUR style) to learn how to choose the suitable materials, garden elements, and plants for your garden so that it feels like your own and reflects your style. You can take the quiz right >> HERE. <<





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