The garden is a place to live that deserves dedicated time and investment. In addition, when you have a property or a residence by the sea, it would be unthinkable not to embellish it with a garden. But how should one go about creating a garden by the sea? Which plants should be selected and how should they be protected them from the ravages of sand, wind and salt? This quick guide seeks to answer these questions.

Growing on the seafront is not easy for all plants, even though plants that love the sun like it there, because the weather can be erratic. The plants fear that the gusts of wind and salty spindrift showers, while the coast is the preferred location of these two phenomena. To create a beautiful garden close to the sea, be smart and, most importantly, choose the right plants. Landscapers are formal: the garden must be structured into three parts. First of all, start by planting windbreaks on the waterfront, then continue with plants that have an intermediate tolerance to wind and salt, before finishing with “classic” beds that will thus benefit from a natural shield. Which windbreaks to choose?

The importance of windbreaks for seafront gardening

The principle of windbreaks is simple: a 3-foot tall barrier is sufficient to protect a field ten times larger. So, the windbreak’s height must be adjusted to the size of the garden. These windbreaks – protecting also to a lesser extent against the sand – can be natural or artificial. Gardeners often choose large trees associated with dense shrubs, as this combination can determine the required height of protective material. Different pine varieties, starting at about 10 feet high, are especially effective against the wind. It is also the case of Portugal laurel, holly oak, cork oak, alder, or giant bamboo, which can reach a height of 30 feet.

We can then plant small hedgerows of grasses, or other plants impervious to frequent climate changes, as reinforcement to these trees. They must always be staked in their early years so that their trunks do not break under the strength of the wind. To do this, simply locate the direction of the prevailing wind by observing the leaves’ oscillation and placing the stakes on the side from which the wind comes.

With regard to artificial barriers, you can choose between slatted windbreak fences made up of assembled strips of wood that are planted vertically in the ground, moisture resistant wooden palisades or plastic nets that have the disadvantage of being somewhat unattractive. Whatever the type of screen selected, natural or not, we must keep in mind that the windbreak should allow the air to pass through while containing the wind’s violence. If they are too rigid, the slightest gust may turn into a storm and sweep the sand surrounding the garden into the air.

The ideal plants for a seafront garden

Once the windbreaks are properly installed, the garden itself can begin to be structured. The choice of plants that will make up the garden depends on personal taste, but also on the soil’s quality. By the sea, sand is often the dominant constituent of the soil. Drainage must be properly ensured and the soil can be amended with some peat and compost. Plants that can thrive on the coast should have a fairly thick foliage, while being flexible enough to withstand sand and wind. They must also have roots that become deeply embedded in order to draw water. The simplest method is to choose native plants already well adapted to local climate and that are not likely to deteriorate after bad weather. But for those who want to “import” other plant varieties, perennials are the most recommended kind. They require little maintenance and are fairly hardy. Acaena and its grey evergreen foliage is perfect as a ground cover plant. Acanthus, Agapanthoideae, common hollyhock, alyssum, Japanese anemone, but also fennel, Corsican hellebore and heather are all included among the hardiest seafront perennials. Some varieties that have plump and aqueous foliage are also suitable for seafront gardens. For these plants to remain healthy, they need to be regularly watered with a garden hose to remove sand and salt that may cling to their leaves. They must also be rid of their dead branches and leaves to keep them fresh. To enjoy the ocean view, some of the garden’s areas need to remain clear. For that purpose, choose plants of low height or those that are grown in spring, thus avoiding periods of heavy storms.

Related posts:

  1. Creating a garden on dry land
  2. Creating a flower garden
  3. Creating a relaxing area in the garden
  4. Maintaining a garden established on clay soil

Published in Specific by Alexander on 06 Jul 2011