© Garden Cottage Nursery, 2017
Nowhere Is Too Windy To Garden
Approaches To Seaside Gardening On And Off The West Coast Of The British Isles.

Coastal Gardening

© Garden Cottage Nursery, 2017
Why Do We Grow So Many New Zealand Plants, Wouldn’t Natives Be Better Adapted? The West of Scotland contains both the wettest and windiest areas of the UK and New Zealand has many hundreds of interesting plants which evolved in areas which are just as wet and windy, and in many cases much more so! During the last ice age the North of Scotland was entirely encased in hundreds of metres of ice, all pre existing vegetation (and in most of the Highlands, the soil too) was scraped away leaving nothing behind but naked rock when the glaciers retreated. In the 9,000 or so years since the native vegetation we have acquired has all had to move up from The Continent, so given our flora’s comparatively recent arrival it has had little opportunity to adapt and speciate to suit our peculiar wet, mild and windy conditions. Meanwhile in the Southern Hemisphere… During the last Ice Age the lack of large continental land masses like Eurasia and North America in the Southern Hemisphere temperate zone restricted glaciation to smaller areas of mostly higher elevation and to the most southerly areas. As such many pre-ice age plants survived in roughly their previous areas. As the sea levels fell (caused by so much water being locked-up in ice and by thermal contraction of the oceans) large areas of what had been continental shelf became land and formerly coastal plants from the old shoreline could spread out along the new coasts and their ancestors could retreat again when the sea levels rose again. Thanks to this Tasmania, New Zealand and Chile have scores of coastal specialist native shrubs while NW Scotland basically has a scant few salt tolerant bushes growing wild.
Keep It Subtle Another thought before we begin, a formal garden style is hard to carry off in the majority of coastal situations, often much time is spent just to make the thing look presentable, only to see it sticking out like a sore thumb against the often dramatic and rugged surrounding landscape. There can be little that is more informal and changeable than the sea and it's shore. Such concerns are generally lessened with the scale of the garden, the smaller the portion of the landscape a garden fills the less it affects it. This is not always true, to keep with the seaside theme, consider a fairly uniform stretch of shore, say wild bush or rough pasture land now place a small lighthouse within this landscape, this addition draws the attention of the view as it is precisely that, some thing that is added, it sticks out from the whole and evolution has given us eyes particularly sensitive to differences. Do not forget that the West Coast of Britain has perhaps some of the greatest views in the world and the Chinese concept of the 'Borrowed Landscape' features prominently in many of the best gardens either through framing or by seemingly running into the landscape. Alternatively if you have the money and can get the planning permission, you can take a Capability Brown approach and make your own landscape.
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Yes We Can! Parts of the Western Approaches of Britain are among the windiest inhabited places on Earth, but gardening here is by no means impossible. Though not as easy as in areas with more calm, predictable climates and fertile soils, a good variety of garden styles and a great variety of plants may be used. The following article is intended to help you think about what you want from your garden and what you can get from it.
You’re Not From Around Here Are You?
East Vs West? In the Northwest Highlands wind comes mostly from the SW over the Atlantic carrying mild wet air laden with salt. The following information is mostly intended for the West Coast, but much is still applicable on the East Coast too. Bare in mind that on the East Coast your salty wind is not coming from the SW as much as off the colder North Sea and overall your climate is warmer and sunnier in summer, colder and drier in winter and your soil is most likely better than on the west. Avoid the more frost tender species mentioned and deciduous shrubs will play a bigger role in successful East Coast seaside garden than they would in a West Coast one. Try again. Fail again. Fail better. Though it is more difficult to garden in an exposed coastal situation, it is not impossible; don’t expect everything you try to work, but learn from your failures, follow the advice here and you can, in time, have a lovely garden.
Is it windy now? A widget from the mesmeric windy.com
© Garden Cottage Nursery, 2017
Nowhere Is Too Windy To Garden
Approaches To Seaside Gardening On And Off The West Coast Of The British Isles.

Coastal Gardening

Why Do We Grow So Many New Zealand Plants, Wouldn’t Natives Be Better Adapted? The West of Scotland contains both the wettest and windiest areas of the UK and New Zealand has many hundreds of interesting plants which evolved in areas which are just as wet and windy, and in many cases much more so! During the last ice age the North of Scotland was entirely encased in hundreds of metres of ice, all pre existing vegetation (and in most of the Highlands, the soil too) was scraped away leaving nothing behind but naked rock when the glaciers retreated. In the 9,000 or so years since the native vegetation we have acquired has all had to move up from The Continent, so given our flora’s comparatively recent arrival it has had little opportunity to adapt and speciate to suit our peculiar wet, mild and windy conditions. Meanwhile in the Southern Hemisphere… During the last Ice Age the lack of large continental land masses like Eurasia and North America in the Southern Hemisphere temperate zone restricted glaciation to smaller areas of mostly higher elevation and to the most southerly areas. As such many pre-ice age plants survived in roughly their previous areas. As the sea levels fell (caused by so much water being locked-up in ice and by thermal contraction of the oceans) large areas of what had been continental shelf became land and formerly coastal plants from the old shoreline could spread out along the new coasts and their ancestors could retreat again when the sea levels rose again. Thanks to this Tasmania, New Zealand and Chile have scores of coastal specialist native shrubs while NW Scotland basically has a scant few salt tolerant bushes growing wild.
Keep It Subtle Another thought before we begin, a formal garden style is hard to carry off in the majority of coastal situations, often much time is spent just to make the thing look presentable, only to see it sticking out like a sore thumb against the often dramatic and rugged surrounding landscape. There can be little that is more informal and changeable than the sea and it's shore. Such concerns are generally lessened with the scale of the garden, the smaller the portion of the landscape a garden fills the less it affects it. This is not always true, to keep with the seaside theme, consider a fairly uniform stretch of shore, say wild bush or rough pasture land now place a small lighthouse within this landscape, this addition draws the attention of the view as it is precisely that, some thing that is added, it sticks out from the whole and evolution has given us eyes particularly sensitive to differences. Do not forget that the West Coast of Britain has perhaps some of the greatest views in the world and the Chinese concept of the 'Borrowed Landscape' features prominently in many of the best gardens either through framing or by seemingly running into the landscape. Alternatively if you have the money and can get the planning permission, you can take a Capability Brown approach and make your own landscape.
Page 1 Page 1 Page 2 Page 2 Page 4 Page 4 Page 3 Page 3 Page 5 Page 5
Yes We Can! Parts of the Western Approaches of Britain are among the windiest inhabited places on Earth, but gardening here is by no means impossible. Though not as easy as in areas with more calm, predictable climates and fertile soils, a good variety of garden styles and a great variety of plants may be used. The following article is intended to help you think about what you want from your garden and what you can get from it.
East Vs West? In the Northwest Highlands wind comes mostly from the SW  over the Atlantic carrying mild wet air laden with salt. The following information is mostly intended for the West Coast, but much is still applicable on the East Coast too. Bare in mind that on the East Coast your salty wind is not coming from the SW as much as off the colder North Sea and overall your climate is warmer and sunnier in summer, colder and drier in winter and your soil is most likely better than on the west. Avoid the more frost tender species mentioned and deciduous shrubs will play a bigger role in successful East Coast seaside garden than they would in a West Coast one. Try again. Fail again. Fail better. Though it is more difficult to garden in an exposed coastal situation, it is not impossible; don’t expect everything you try to work, but learn from your failures, follow the advice here and you can, in time, have a lovely garden.
Is it windy now? A widget from the mesmeric windy.com
You’re Not From Around Here Are You?