Predominant wind direction differs with the area, the season and during various times of the day. When conducting your site assessment always look for clues which will tell you from which direction the prevailing wind blows. Have the neighbours planted windbreaks consisting of tree groups that are placed on the windward side of the property?  Do trees and plants in your area tend to lean in a particular direction or have people locally taken measures to protect their houses on  a particular side from the influence of wind.

A photograph showing flat-topped trees shaped by onshore wind.

An almost forgotten technique for creating shelter around your home and garden is to plant a group to trees to the windward side of your property.  There is however often not a lot of room for planting of tree groups in urban areas. If your project is urban and you can fit a few trees in this area it will be worth having a look in an adjacent rural area to see if some of these windbreaks still exist.  A group of deciduous trees or shrubs is a far better way to create a wind barrier rather than putting a object such as a wall or even a group of evergreen trees in the path of strong winds.

A simple way to determine wind direction is to look at an exposed tree trunk or wooden utility pole. They are almost always cleaner on the windward side.

You can consider if additional wind protection is required within your garden, this may determine where some new landscape elements are placed. For example, do you need to introduce walls or fences to provide wind protection for fragile plants?

Tip: In windy areas grow plants that depend on wind to pollinate them. Look for plants where the flowers tend to appear before the leaf. By doing so you will increase your chances of creating a successful garden, because you are aligning your efforts with a significant part of the local climate.

During your assessment you will identify these and other influences that, when combined, set up the unique micro-climate for your garden.

Micro-climate simply describes the very local climate that is unique to a small area. It is caused by a complex combination of factors, including wind direction, that are unique to that area.