Shelterbelt Plants

Shelterbelt plants are the first line of defence between the harsh coastal conditions and the creation of a garden microclimate. Only the toughest plants will survive here! Tamarisk, Euonymus japonica and sea buckthorn are top of the list, along with gorse (Ulex europaeus), Rosa rugosa and Elaeagnus. As these are evergreen, they give year-round shelter to the second-line plants that sit behind.

Tamarix shelterbelt, West Wittering.

Whilst shelter is most often seen in the form of a hedge, a different approach would be (where space permits) to group plants in clusters so that they slow the speed of the wind without the linear form of a hedge. This can also help blur the boundary line, keep select views open and (where neighbours or public access is not an issue) connect to the wider landscape.

Salix on the edge of saltmarsh, Pagham
Tamarix and Euonymus japonica on the seafront, Selsey.