The perfect shelter for your garden

The perfect shelter for your garden

By Lidia Boque Gousgouni
08 Mar 2018

Windbreaks can be as small as half a metre or as large as you like depending on the purpose of your planting. People change microclimates to protect property, animals or other plants. Plant selection is very important to achieve your goal. Vast expanses of property exposed to the elements seem to end up with the typical Cypress windbreak, large and majestic but there is so much more.

Many of our heritage estates have established windbreaks multi-planted in alternating rows to create this barrier that slows the wind down as it uses all its energy to go up and over the layers of dense foliage. Windbreaks provide shelter from hot winds, frosts and the damaging speed and force of the wind itself. Such majestic windbreaks add value to the property for many generations to enjoy.

Cupressocyparis leylandii a beautiful tough conifer and Callitris glaucophylla, our very own Murray pine are typical specimens of great windbreaks. The Cupressus torolosus, otherwise known as the Bhutan cypress, grows well in the North-East region of Victoria. The Bhutan cypress is designed for the impatient gardener growing quickly with an upright habit that could reach 40 metres. Growing approximately 60cm per year enables you to establish your windbreak quickly. For something a bit smaller the Apple gums, or Angophora floribunda is closely related to the Eucalypts and in the same family. They can reach heights of 30 meters and make great specimens for windbreaks when multi-planted. Not only is it just functional but attractive also with profuse creamy white flowers mainly in summer. This type of Australian native is a true compliment to its surroundings providing shelter, food and nesting for many of our Australian birds and animals.

For something exotic the Acer davidii, commonly called the Snake bark maple is an interesting choice. Gardeners who prefer something deciduous will find this tree provides protection in the summer and a display of spectacular colour as the leaves fall. In winter this tree reveals the smooth olive green bark which is unusually striped with white. The overall shape of this tree is quite doomed and looks great in rows inter-planted for the eye to follow. This tree grows to about 10 -15 metres and really creates a gorgeous windbreak.


The Friends of the Albury Botanic Gardens have plants for sale every Tuesday and Thursday morning 9-30am 12noon at their nursery in the gardens behind the curators cottage. There is also a  plant sale on Sunday 18thMarch 11am till 2pm at the same location.

Rutherglen & District Garden Club is holding its 29th Annual Flower Show on Sunday 8th April 2018 at the Memorial Hall, High Street, Rutherglen from 12.00 p.m. to 4.00 p.m. and in conjunction with the Victorian Rose Society will present the Victorian Autumn Country Rose Championship.  $6.00 admission fee includes afternoon refreshment. Children are admitted free. The Show will be officially opened and trophies will be presented at 3.00 p.m.


The selection of plants is endless – here we see conifers used as a successful windbreak.

Written by

Karen McInnes, Arboriculture and Horticulture Teacher at Wodonga TAFE.