How to Create The Perfect Coastal Garden
Coastal gardens are unique and they need to be treated as such. The coastal conditions can make it quite difficult for plants to survive with salt, high winds and sandy soils to contend with. So what plants will work and how can you make sure the environment you create compliments the coastal vibe?
Plants to plant
Australia is prone to long, hot summers and often drought causes water restrictions. In coastal areas, there’s also other elements to consider – sand, salt and wind being three of them. But that doesn’t mean you need to compromise on style. There are a huge array of native plants that thrive in coastal conditions and there are various ways you can incorporate them into different landscaping styles.
What you’ll notice as you drive around a coastal area is that many gardens aren’t exceptionally neat and maintained. Coastal gardens tend to work best when left natural looking. When choosing plants, it’s always wise to find ones that are drought-tolerant. Being so close to the sand, the soil struggles to retain water or nutrients so the plants really need to thrive off limited liquid.
Here are some plants you can enjoy in coastal conditions;
- Common Boobialla – this is a large shrub with white flowers that bloom from winter to produce a purple berry fruit. It’s a great screen and appreciates full sun.
- Coast Daisy Bush – during summer and autumn, white daisy-style flowers bloom along the stems. They can be planted directly into the soil or in pots for a great variety.
- Coast Bonefruit – this is a small shrub that grows about 20cm high. It’s a great soil stabiliser and tolerates the saline conditions near the sea.
- Sword Sedge – this one looks wonderful planted in both large and small clumps. It’s a good accent plant so it’s a lovely one to use in borders.
- Succulents – there’s a reason why cacti are so popular in the desert. Succulents are perfect for a coastal landscape and they look even more alluring against the backdrop of the ocean.
Of course, there are a myriad of other options to choose from. What’s important is that you find plants and shrubs that can tolerate the conditions associated with the ocean and the coast. It’s also a good idea to find plants in a variety of textures to create different layers in your garden. If you’re ever in doubt, a good nursery will be able to help.
Like all other gardens, most coastal gardens will take their inspiration from their environment, so what works in the city for your path, may not work by the sea. The key when it comes to pathways is creating a relaxed, laid-back vibe with a natural design. And according to some experts, this style is created by using natural, gentle curves to encourage a relaxed stroll through the garden.
Look-wise, many coastal gardens will reflect the sea and surf so one idea for your path is a crushed seashell blend – this uses tiny fragments of seashells to create the pathway. Just be careful if you’re not wearing shoes as while it looks lovely, it can be hard on the feet.
Another idea is to use pavers and pebbles, both hard-wearing materials that are great for high-traffic areas. Let’s face it, if you have a peaceful garden by the coast, you’ll definitely be enjoying it a lot.
When it comes to pebbles, gardeners and landscapers have been using garden pebbles for many years. In fact, they’re one of the most popular and versatile landscaping products available today. They’re contemporary, stylish and best of all, affordable. They’re great for garden paths and really complement the beachy theme of coastal gardens. If you plan on using them for paths or a driveway, pebbles will create a look similar to gravel but because they’re likely going to be set in resin or rubber, there won’t be any weeds to contend with. It’s a win/win really.
Decks and terraces
Creating a deck or terrace is also a lovely way to enhance a coastal garden retreat. Of course, this can be fashioned from a range of materials including timber, recycled plastic or tiles. When choosing tiles, make sure they are a natural look material so they can last the test of time. It’s also important to choose a neutral shade that won’t date as the years go by.
Many experts recommend using recycled plastic over timber when it comes to decking. It’s a man-made material that can handle coastal conditions a lot better than timber. Plus, there’s very little maintenance required. Timber on the other hand, tends to deteriorate quicker in coastal conditions and will need to be re-oiled frequently.
Turn your ideas into reality
With these guidelines on designing the perfect coastal garden, you’re ready to start building your own tranquil coastal space. When it comes to sourcing your pavers, tiles and pebbles look no further than Armstone for the best quality materials on the market. If you’re in need of a little more inspiration or guidance, visit our blog for insight into how you can best bring your outdoor space together.