Many low-growing shrubs and ornamental grasses can cope with salt-laden winds, including carex, coastal rosemary, crassula and germander. You’ll find dichondra (D. repens) is an affordable, easy-to-maintain groundcover.
When your garden is on a slope, build terraces from recycled bricks, fill each level with plants and don’t forget to include good drainage! Here, the terraces and plantings mimic the lines and curves of the home.
Touches of bold colour catch your eye. Here, the rust in the bricks, pizza oven utensil handles, logs and firepit add spark to the smooth off-white of the seating and stepping stones. Rich rust also blends well with blue or grey-tinted plants.
Your hardscapes can be different without competing with each other. Sturdy brick retaining walls, floating concrete slab steps and round stepping stones are all tied together by the plantings.
As the name suggests, Mediterranean spurge (Euphorbia wulfenii) is drought-hardy and salt-tolerant. Just wait for limey flower clusters in late spring!
Stepping stones through your garden get you up close and personal with your plants – a quirky arrangement of stones as stairs also appeals.
Just as mixing textures creates interest in a garden, so does blending curves and straight lines. It’s the Goldilocks theory – not too soft, not too hard.
Coastal gardening can be challenging in light of the harsh elements involved, but planting on a sand dune right on the beach takes it to a different level. It also takes a different mindset – one that abandons the idea of a conventional suburban garden. But with the addition of rich composted soil, then working with nature by putting in plants that cope with the sand, the salty air and the winds, you can have a garden that’s striking and low-maintenance to boot!
Framing is one of the best ways to highlight unique aspects of your garden. Here, the home’s sandstone corridor pulls
into focus the moonahs, fringed by ornamental grasses such as lomandra, carex and stipa.
Coastal gardens with their sandy soils are prone to erosion. So you don’t see your garden slipping away, keep mature trees with their extended root systems and fill in spaces among other plantings with stabilisers like large sandstone rocks.
Coastal winds can be fierce so let your plantings – and buildings – hug the ground.
Pick garden art that reflects your environment, in this case an old boat in choppy seas.
Keep mature trees – they’ve stood the test of time and the elements. They also give other plants protection from the wind, like this moonah.
Correas – or the native fuchsia – are sturdier than they look and are well adapted to coastal conditions.
Coastal rosemary, as its name suggests, tolerates sandy soil, salty air and moisture-sapping sea breezes.
Myoporum, or creeping boobialla, is often used to control erosion in sandy soils, but how good is it spilling over the side of a tall planter!
Keep the colours of a coastal yard muted to fit in with your environment.
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