Beachfront living is tough if you are a plant. Salt spray, searing sun, erosion, drought and hurricane-force winds exclude all but the toughest plants from coastal gardens, but luckily they are also some of the most spectacular.
If you reside in a warm climate, however, your favorite landlubbing plants are having difficulty getting their sea legs, follow these suggestions for a resilient and undemanding beachfront getaway.
Blakely and Associates Landscape Architects, Inc..
Use native plants. The best guideline for gardening on the beach is to use plants which belong there in the first location. If you are unsure of exactly what natives will flourish on your beach, like a walk in the closest beachfront nature preserve (Florida, for instance, has several excellent state- and – city-run parks) and shoot some pictures to demonstrate the staff at your garden centre.
Native coastal plants really are an asset to your property because they stabilize the dunes by growing right up into the high-tide lineup and holding the sand in place with their specialized roots and stems. The sea grapes (Coccoloba uvifera, zones 9b into 11) and beach sunflowers (Helianthus debilis, zones 8a into 11) in this picture can be viewed growing all the way to the border of the dunes here in Florida, surviving drought, baking sun and copious quantities of saltwater — not to mention hurricanes! Of course, the word”indigenous” is relative depending on where you reside, so learn what beachside plants are native to your area before planting.
Donna Lynn – Landscape Designer
Pick salt-tolerant plants. Salt spray introduces the largest challenge to people seeking to create a beachside backyard, as many plants become burnt or killed by salty breezes. Worse yet, tropical and subtropical storms occasionally inundate gardens using a dangerous storm surge of pure saltwater. Native plants are the top candidates for the area closest to the water’s edge, but past that there are vibrant and architectural exotic plants which will also flourish.
The bougainvillea (Bougainvillea spectabilis, zones 9 to 11) shown here is among the better vines for beachfront plantings, due to the flamboyant, vibrant colors and fantastic resistance to salt, drought and winds.
Shrubs such as this dwarf bottlebrush (Callistemon viminalis ‘Little John’, zones 8b into 11) are essential for beachside gardens, because they diffuse salty winds, protecting plants and making the backyard more livable.
Some plants can take more salt than others, so plant the toughest ones closest to the shore and also plant the more sensitive ones in the shelter of a building, dunes or tall shrubs. Some of the most tolerant options include sun mimosa (Mimosa strigillosa, zones 8 to 11), spider lily (Hymenocallis latifolia, zones 9 to 11), natal plum (Carissa macrocarpa, zones 9b into 11) and also firecracker plant (Russelia equisetiformis, zones 9 to 11).
Raymond Jungles, Inc..
Utilize local materials. Using locally sourced landscaping substances isn’t only environmentally friendly, but it will help save you money and seem far more natural. Why work against your landscape, especially when so many excellent stuff are right under your nose? This Florida Keys landscape design by Raymond Jungles is an superb case; crushed limestone creates a permeable and striking walkway which glows in the moonlight.
Native stone can also be used to create stone pavers, statuary and stucco. Coquina stones, for instance, are made up of the remains of tiny coquina clamshells and have been used in northeastern Florida as both stone cubes and an element of a stucco known as tabby. In Pacific coast areas, volcanic stone such as basalt are a useful and workable addition to gardens.
Native plants are helpful even in their afterlife, lending regional flavor via hardwoods for building, palm fronds for thatching and needles and leaves for mulching.
Donna Lynn – Landscape Designer
Create drama. Coastal gardeners may get a smaller selection of plants than many anglers, but there continue to be so many opportunities for effect. This drought-tolerantcabbage tree (Cordyline australis, zones 8b into 11) becomes a focal point amid the simplified shapes and muted colors of dwarf pittosporum (Pittosporum crassifolium‘Compactum’, zones 8 to 11) and foxtail agave (Agave attenuata, zones 10 to 11).
Naturally occuring beach landscapes are visually pleasing because they contain only the few plants which can manage the rough beachfront states, producing the look of a well-tended and salt-pruned backyard. Have a page from Mother Nature’s plant and book masses of proven and beautiful plants. Alternate fine-foliaged (small-leaved) plants with class (large-leaved) ones to keep the scene intriguing, and arrange them in naturalistic curving swaths to mimic the beach and surrounding landscape.
Debora carl landscape layout
Use drought-tolerant plants. It is highly likely that your coastal land is mostly sand, so forgo thirsty turfgasses and finicky plants whenever possible and also opt for a water-wise alternate. This planting of century plant (Agave americana, zones 7 to 10), blue fescue (Festuca glauca, zones 4 to 8), kangaroo paw (Anigozanthos‘Red Cross’, zones 9 to 11) and crown of thorns (Euphorbia milii, zones 9b into 11) is cohesively vibrant and thrives on neglect.
Susan Cohen Associates, Inc..
Enjoy! Now that you’ve taken the steps to create a booming oceanfront backyard, it would be a pity to let it go to waste. With a durable teak deck, sturdy iron furnishings and weather-resistant cloths, this outdoor area with a perspective by Susan Cohen Associates reveals beachfront living at its finest.
Your turn: What plants and hints do you recommend for a beachfront backyard?
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