Exposed Sites

In cold, inland gardens, particularly those exposed to strong winds, only the hardiest plants thrive without the protection of a windbreak.  Where providing one is not practical, it is essential to establish a basic framework of trees, shrubs and conifers  that are fully hardy.  Carefully positioned within the garden, in groups, they provide sheltered situations where less hardy plants can be grown, while still maintaining a degree of openness if desired.


Berberis darwinii (Darwin’s barberry)
Vigorous, evergreen arching shrub with small, dark-green leaves and a profusion of deep orange-yellow flowers in spring followed by blueish berries. 
H 7m (24ft) S 7m (24ft)


Berberis x stenophylla 
Evergreen, arching shrub with slender shoots and narrow, spine tipped, deep green leaves.  Massed, golden-yellow flowers appear from mid-to late spring followed by small, blue-black fruits. H3m (10ft) S 3m (10ft)

Cornus alba ‘sibirica’ (Red-barked dogwood)
Deciduous, upright shrub with scarlet, young shoots in winter.  Has dark green foliage and heads of creamy-white flowers in late spring / summer. H 2m (6ft) S 2m (6ft)

Cotinus ‘flame’  (Smoke tree / Venetian sumach)
Deciduous, bushy, tree-like shrub with dark green leaves that turn brilliant orange-red in autumn. From late summer, showy, plume-like, purplish-pink flower heads appear above the foliage. H 4m (24ft) S 4m (24ft)

Cotoneaster lacteus
Evergreen, arching shrub suitable for edging.  Dark green leaves, set off cup-shaped white flowers from early to mid-summer.  Long lasting red fruits in clusters through autumn-winter. H & S 4m (24ft)

Syringa (Lilacs)

Philadelphus ’beauclerk’ 
Deciduous, slightly arching shrub.  Large, fragrant flowers, white with a small, central, pale-purple bloch. are produced from early summer. H & S 3m (10ft)

Prunus laurocerasus ’Otto Luyken ‘ (Cherry Laurel)
Evergreen, very dense shrub.  Has upright, narrow, glossy, dark green leaves, spikes of white flowers in late spring, followed by cherry-like, red, then black, fruits.  H 1m (3ft) S 2m (6ft)

Salix purpurea (Purple Osier)
Deciduous, bushy, spreading shrub.  Grey male catkins, with yellow anthers, and insignificant female catkins are borne on slender, often purple shoots in spring.  H & S 5m (15ft)

Sambucus nigra ‘Guincho purple’ (Common Elder)
Deciduous, bushy shrub. Dark-green foliage matures to deep, blackish-purple.  Bears purple stalked flowers, pink in bud and opening to white within, pink outside. H& S 6m (20ft)

Ulex europeus ‘ Flore Pleno’
A leafless, or almost leafless, bushy shrub.  In spring, bears masses of fragrant, pea-like, double, yellow flowers  on leafless, dark green shoots.
H 1m (3ft) S 1.2m (4ft)


Acer platanoides (and cultivars) (Norway Maples)
Vigorous, deciduous, spreading tree. Large, broad, sharply lobed, bright green leaves that turn yellow or orange in autumn and clusters of yellow flowers in mid-spring. H 25m (80ft) S 15m (50ft)

Acer pseudoplatanus (Sycamore)
Fast-growing, spreading tree.  Dark green leaves.  Makes a fine specimen tree and is good for exposed positions. H 30m (100ft) S 15m (50ft)

Betula utilis  ‘Jacquemontii (Himalayan Birch) Deciduous, open-branched, elegant tree with bright white bark. Oval, serrated, mid-green leaves turn clear yellow in autumn. H 12m (39ft) S 7m (23ft)

Crataegus laevigata ‘Paul’s Scarlet’                   Deciduous, spreading tree.  Has toothed, glossy dark-green leaves and a profusion of double, red flowers in late spring and early-summer. H 6m (20ft) S 7m(23ft)

Fagus sylvatica (Common beech)                       Deciduous, spreading tree with oval, wavy-edged leaves.  These are pale green when young, mid to dark green when mature, and turn rich yellow and orange-brown in autumn, when nuts are produced.

H 20m ( 70ft) S 12m (40ft)

Fraxinus excelsior ‘Jaspidea’ (Common ash)   Vigorous, deciduous, spreading tree.  Leaves of ‘jaspidea’ are yellow in spring and turn golden in autumn; shoots are yellow in winter. H 30m (100ft) S 20m (70ft)

Laburnum x waterei ‘Vossii’ (Voss’s Laburnum)
Deciduous, spreading tree. Glossy, deep-green leaves.  Pendant chains of large, yellow flowers are borne in late spring and early summer. H 10m (30ft) S 10m (30ft)

Sorbus aria ‘Lutescens’ (Whitebeam)
Deciduous, spreading tree, upright when young. Young foliage is silvery, maturing to grey-green. White flowers in late spring and early summer are followed by orange-red fruits in autumn. H 10m (30ft) S 7.5m (25ft)

Sorbus commixta ‘Embely’ (Ash)
Vigorous, deciduous, elegant tree with steeply ascending branches.  Glossy deep-green leaves turn orange and red in late autumn.  Bears small white flowers in late spring and rounded, bright red fruits in autumn. H 12m(40ft) S 9m (28ft)

Sorbus vilmoriniii
Deciduous, spreading, arching, elegant tree.  Leaves of 9-14 pairs of dark green leaflets become orange or bronze-red in autumn.  Has white blooms in late spring and small, deep pink fruits in autumn.

H 5m (15ft) S 5m (15ft).

Tilia cordata (Small leaved lime)
Deciduous, spreading tree.  In mid-summer has small, glossy, dark green leaves and small, yellowish-white flowers. H 30m (100ft) S 12m (40ft)


Chamaecyparis nootkatensis (Nootka cypress)
Almost geometrically conical conifer.  Bears long, pendant sprays of scale-like, aromatic, grey-green leaves and dark blue and green cones that ripen to brown. H 15m (50ft) S 6m (20ft)

Chamaecyparis obtusa and cultivars (Hinoki cypress)
Conical conifer with stringy, red-brown bark and scale like, aromatic, dark green leaves with bright silver lines at sides and incurving tips. H 15-20M (50-70ft) S 5m (15ft)

Chamaaecyparis pisifera and cvrs (Sawara cypress
Conical conifer with horizontal branches.  Has ridged, peeling, red-brown bark, scale-like, aromatic, fresh green leaves, white at sides and beneath.  H 15m (50ft) S 5m (15ft)

Juniperus communis ‘Hibernica’  (Common Juniper)
Columnar, narrow, upright conifer.  Needle-like, aromatic, glossy, mid-green leaves and bears globular, fleshy, greenish berries that ripen to blue and then black in their 3rd year.

H 3-5m (10-15ft) S 30cm (12”)

Pinus sylvestis (Scots Pine)
Upright conifer with whorled branches when young, that develops a spreading, rounded crown. Flaking  red-brown bark with blue-green leaves and conical green cones that ripen to brown.

H 15-25m (50-80ft) S 8-10m (25-30ft)

Taxus Baccata and cultivars  (Yew)
Slow growing conifer with broadly conical crown.  Dark-green, needle-like leaves.  Female plants bear cup-shaped, fleshy, bright red fruits; only the red part not the seed is edible.  

H 10-15m (30-50ft)  S 5-10m (15-30ft)

Thuja occidentalis and cultivars  (White cedar)
Slow growing conifer with a narrow crown.  Has orange-brown bark and flat sprays of scale-like, yellowish-green leaves, smelling of apples when crushed. H15m (50ft) S 3-5m (10-15ft)

Tsuga canadensis
Broadly conical conifer, often with several stems.  Shoots are grey with spirally arranged, needle-like, flattened leaves, golden yellow when young, aging to green in second year.

H 5m (15ft) S 2-3m (6-10FT)





Calluna vulgaris and cultivars

Cotoneaster ‘Gnom’

Hedera Hibernica

Juniperus horizontalis ‘Wiltonii’

Lonicera pileata

Symphoricarpos x chenaultii ‘hancock’