Usually with a windbreak, whether live or inert, plants can withstand some thrashing. However, for prevailing winds some plants will stand their ground and wait for it. They do not mind a battering and strangely their makeup has been designed for it. A lot of the time their habit and shape of leaves/bracts is relevant. Often grasses are very good and those specimens that are drought tolerant.
Miscanthus sinesis ‘Zebrinus’ (Zebra Grass) – In full sun these ornamental plumes do very well. Late summer into early autumn. Creamy fountain of grass with upright habit. Known for whistling in wind as other Miscanthus.
Pennisetum rubrum (Purple fountain grass) – In full sun will provide a cascade of purple foliage streaming foliage through other contrasting grasses. The shape can almost allow the wind to go through them and not at them.
Stipa tenuissima – is an evergreen which in full sun will work with other grasses and herbaceous perennials. A hardy ornamental grass that is hardy and relatively low maintenance.
Berberis thunbergii – the barberry bush is a good staple shrub. It is a relatively hardy and robust shrub although at times to manage is a bit uncomfortable. A shear now and again is all that is necessary to keep its habit. It can be used in an unconventional hedge since pruning will make it denser. You will find foliage of green and a deep plum in varieties.
Cordyline australis (Cabbage Palm) is a good foliage plant but to probably keep to a container since you may have to move if the cold spells come. It is hardy to an extent maybe -9 so if sheltered or in good conditions will remain evergreen even with a bit of help.
Rosa Rugosa – a vigorous almost wild rose will live in the most of barren of environments. A fusion of our choice specimens and the wild variety. Very robust, very low maintenance. Can act as a shrub in its own entirety or as part of a hedge. Very resilient to all elements and very easy to look after.
Not a fan of conifers although many different sizes, habits and qualities, they are still worth a mention. A juniper bush or ground cover variety is a good choice for something of interest. Juniperus ‘squamata’ a blue grey variety which is hardy, tolerant of little care and will sit in quite problematic conditions. Full sun or partial shade and exposed or sheltered. Juniperus x media ‘Carberry gold’ a low dense habit which will provide you with equally lovely green-yellow foliage. Again its dynamics are quite easy going and will take full sun or partial shade and most importantly exposed.