Garden Q&A: What flowers will suit my open, windswept site?

Whether you're a gardening beginner or expert, Irish Examiner columnist Peter Dowdall has the answer to your questions
Garden Q&A: What flowers will suit my open, windswept site?

Potentillas will tolerate high winds and flower in a range of different colours, depending on the variety, including yellow. Picture: iStock

QUESTION

I have a large, open and windy garden site. 

Can you suggest some flowers or shrubs that I could plant there, ones that will also provide colour in June?

Also, is there any pretty ground cover that will offer "carpet" beneath some rhododendrons I have, which will give interest when they are not flowering?

ANSWER

Potentillas are fantastic plants in a windswept garden.  

They will tolerate high winds and are simply festooned with flowers during late spring to mid-summer. 

They flower in a range of different colours, depending on the variety, yellow, orange, red, white or pink.

Choisya ternate, the Mexican orange blossom, is another good one. 

An evergreen and resilient to strong winds, it produces masses of small white, strongly scented flowers. 

The only drawback is that it may be finished flowering by June, depending on your location and the spring weather.

There is nothing that will grow right underneath rhododendrons; however, you could try growing some flower carpet roses, once they are not directly under the canopy of the rhododendron. 

These will flower once the rhodo blooms have finished, extending the period of colour right into early winter.

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