Container gardening for windy, inner city patios

Discussion in 'Outdoor Gardening in the Pacific Northwest' started by Olla, Nov 1, 2010.

  1. Olla

    Olla Member

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    Hello.

    This is my inaugural post. I'm so looking forward to having a network to reach out to when my own brainstorming and research has me stumped.....i love open source solutions!

    My question is regarding container gardening for windy, inner city patios. I have tried a few different designs (herbs, clump bamboo, stonecrop underplantings, etc...) and haven't had much success. My sense is that i need to invest in a conifer that can survive the coastal winds and dry conditions (the moisture seems to evaporate faster with the winds).

    I have been looking at the cesarini blue pine. What are your thoughts? And if this is a good specimen for my conditions- where do i find one?

    Thanks so much for reading,

    Olla
     
  2. dt-van

    dt-van Active Member 10 Years

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    Look for a book on roof gardening. Rooftops are often exposed and windy locations, so they may give you some good plant choices. Seaside plants are also often wind resistant, though they may need more sun than you have. The New Sunset Garden Book may have a list of wind tolerant plants.
     
  3. Olla

    Olla Member

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    Thanks so much denis/teresa.
    i'll look into that publication.
    Olla
     
  4. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Blue Colorado spruce is a chronic bug magnet here in the maritime strip. All container plants need careful management of watering. However, if you want to reduce the need for that a hardy cactus and succulent combo could be fairly easily put together and maintained in a sunny position. During winter might even have to put it out of the rain, such as under a wide building overhang, rather than be concerned about keeping it moist.

    The most hardy cacti and succulents take quite low temperatures. There are also species native to this region, Sedum spathulifolium for instance is one of the most valued species for horticultural use both here and elsewhere.
     
  5. togata57

    togata57 Contributor 10 Years

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    I have had success with portulaca in hot, dry, windy conditions. Not a perennial but can reseed itself: flowers can give you a bright splash of color.
     
  6. Debby

    Debby Active Member 10 Years

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    Can't offer info on that particular pine, but have a book to recommend. It's new; the Vancouver Public Library acquired it in June 2010: Gardens to Go, Creating and Designing a Container Garden, by Sydney Eddison, with scads of photos by Steve Silk. Not a lot is said about windy sites, except that terra-cotta gets broken (cement is better, or heavy potting mix and stones in pot bottoms), and tethering tall plants and erecting windbreaks may be necessary.
     
  7. Vili Petek

    Vili Petek Member

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    I would go with succulents, they can look real nice and need very little attention.
    Levander may do well.
     
  8. Olla

    Olla Member

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    Thanks so much for your response. I have worked with hardy succulents before but never larger cacti- didn't know they could thrive here on the west coast.
     
  9. Vili Petek

    Vili Petek Member

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    i would stick to chick and hens, most cacti are not as hardy
     
  10. Poetry to Burn

    Poetry to Burn Active Member

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    We grow a bunch of woody plants on our urban deck in Philly. We get decent sun exposure here. The deck is west facing. We grow potted Magnolia loebneri with good success, Pinus thundbergii, bungeana and parviflora grow great here. Osmanthus does well too. I have maybe 50 potted Japanese maples that grow with varying degrees of success. A locally collected grove of potted ginkgo's is thriving.

    The list of plants that didn't make isn't short!

    Pics from Spring 2010
     

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    Last edited: Nov 30, 2010
  11. JadeC

    JadeC Active Member

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    How about rosemary?
    I had some rosemary they are grown in windy, dry place.
    They grow very well since many years ago untill now :)
     
  12. Vili Petek

    Vili Petek Member

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    Rosemary should work, if it gets established it can live many years through the winters. My friend had one for about 10 years, until 2 winters ago when -17C killed it. Levander is a better bet, a bit hardier. Neither plant needs much attention.
     

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