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Surviving the "wind tunnel": there are the most wind-tolerant flowering plants.

Brisk summer winds from the Pacific Ocean are tough on plants in coastal gardens. They bring cooler temperatures than many plants prefer and cause water stress by increasing transpiration and evaporation. Gale-force winds can defoliate plants, spray them with salt, or even break or uproot them. Fog that accompanies wind reduces available sunlight.

The garden at the south end of San francisco's Golden gate Bridge (near Fort Point National History Site) is a splendid laboratory for observing wind resistance in plants. In this natural wind tunnel, strong breezes are nearly incessant and fog is frequent. Larger plants grown here ar tough native and exotic shrubs and trees, but through years of experiment, the gardeners have learned how to put on impressive flower displays as well.

Here are some of the most wind-tolerant flowering plants you can grow. Except as noted, all will grow in the windly,fogprone regions form Bellingham, Washington, to San Diego. Permannet plants

Agapanthus. Some (not all) are hardy in the coastal Norhtwest. Look for locally grown plants.

Cistus. Rockroses are borderline plants in the Northwest.

Echium fastuosum. Pride of Madeira is tender in the Northwest.

Escallonia. Evergreen flowering shrubs in several varieties.

Fuchsia. Small-flowered varieties are hardiest in wind.

Hemerocallis. Daylily.

Kniphofia (Tritoma). Red-hot poker.

Lantana. In the Northwest, use these as summer bedding plants.

Pelargonium. Common and ivy geraniums and Lady Washington pelargonium need winter protection in the Northwest. Store plants in basement or take cuttings.

Rosa. One rose, the fiery scarlet 'Sarabande', has proven to be outstanding in cold, damp wind. 'Sarakbande' is a low- growing floribunda with a heavy crop of semidouble flowers.

Colanum rantonnetii. Park gardeners in San Francisco report that this violet-blue flowering potato vine recovered and bloomed within six weeks after being defoliated by a winter gale.

Tulbaghia violacea. Society garlic. Tender Annuals or short-lived perennials

These require replanting.

Agrjostemma githago. The corn cockle is an unusual annual, easy to grow form seeds. From 1 to 3 feet tall, it has long-stemmed, cup-shaped lavender to purple flowers with deeper-colored veins. The variety 'Milas' has flowers to 3 inches across that are fine for cutting. Despite frail looks, it stands up well to wind.

Dahlia. These are the unquestioned summer stars of the Golden GAte BRidge planting. Despite their bulk and leafiness, they stand up to wind and are not likely to break if adequately staked.

Penstemon gloxinoides. Border or garden penstemons can grow as annuals or short- lived perennials. EXcellent for cutting, they come in a wide range of colors.

Tropaeolum. In milder coastal climates, nasturtiums behave as evergree perennials. Consider them annuals in the Northwest. They can make attractive flowering carpets (but not for foot traffic, of course).
COPYRIGHT 1984 Sunset Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1984 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Sunset
Date:Jun 1, 1984
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