Set of the Landscape: Coastal Garden Style

Gardening by the sea isn’t for sissies. Even the best day at the beachfront will bring noticeable breezes and salt spray. When the weather is stormy, there’s the added dimension of strong winds, even stronger salt spray and pelting storms. To add to this, at least right on the sea’s edge, the soil itself is likely sandy, salty or both.

Regardless of the difficult conditions, coastal gardens are by and large serene and beautiful — areas where you can relax and enjoy what nature brings. As a gardener, then you simply need to generate some adjustments to work with what nature will throw at you. This may mean picking a rugosa rose upwards of a hybrid or utilizing ice plants as a ground cover rather than Kentucky bluegrass. Your crops will most probably be low and sprinkled rather than tall and densely packed; your trees’ trunks may be somewhat twisted rather than ramrod straight.

Of course, you needn’t reside at the seaside to have a backyard that is reminiscent of the coast. By following the general guidelines for aquatic plantings and picking plants that will mimic the look of a sea garden and thrive in your climate zone, then you may make your own little seaside heaven, even in Kansas. These ideas will get you started.

Elemental Design Group

Choose Your Style

A coastal cottage garden is a natural alternative in Nantucket, along the Gulf Coast, in Santa Cruz or on Puget Sound. Look for hardier perennials in traditional cottage garden colors, like pinks, purples and blues, and bulk them together to get a magical effect, especially against the weathered grey often found on a coastal cottage. Gravel paths work equally well with cottage and coastal designs, and also the lack of a conventional lawn is completely appropriate for the setting.

Randy Thueme Design Inc. – Landscape Architecture

Modern or modern garden designs also work nicely with coastal style. The clean lines and slick method of plantings pair well with the frequently sparse vegetation to be found at the beach. Here the colors of the house and concrete mix with the dunes beyond just as the purposely planted trees coincide with the colors of the native specimens.

Jeffrey Gordon Smith Landscape Architecture

Another choice is to design a natural landscape which will mix in with the surrounding space. This works tremendously well when your property overlooks an open space or the ocean itself. The advantage of the property, for instance, blurs to the distance outside.

Jeffrey Gordon Smith Landscape Architecture

Use the Components

Constant wind affects tree growth, as noticed from the twisted trunks of the Monterey cypress. When picking on trees for your space, look for specimens which may take these ailments. A local nursery can help you find the best choices for your own location.

Lankford Associates Landscape Architects

The loose, sandy soil of the beachfront allows for great drainage, but in addition, it means that nutrients are rapidly lost. In nature, this may mean crops which are commonly spaced rather than densely packed. But a spare look doesn’t need to imply monotone, especially when you’re in charge of the space. In this garden, purple ice plants lining the road to the sea’s edge lead your eye to the sitting area and encourage you to explore. The entire space looks like the natural bluffs outside, with just a bit more control and planning than nature generally provides.

Gardens by Gabriel, Inc..

However, if spare is not really your style, you still have choices. This coastal planting bed is full of colour, both from the perennials along with the grasses. Additionally, it is full of plants. The overall look is a mix of cottage and traditional, a wonderful mix for a home garden and certainly up to handling coastal weather.

Debora carl landscape design

Meadowlike grasses rather than a close-clipped lawn are another choice if you want a more contemporary look. The gentle waves mimic the look of the sea on your own yard. As a bonus, you get the sense of a lawn with minimal lawn maintenance.

Debora carl landscape design

In warmer climates try using succulents to fill out the distance. They are often adapted to saltier lands, and they are rugged enough to deal with the winds along with the spray.

Noel Cross+Architects

Make sure that your Hardscape Fits In

A wooden boardwalk is a natural option for a natural or cottage coastal backyard. In a just-planted backyard, it is going to function as a foil to the plants…

Randy Thueme Design Inc. – Landscape Architecture

… and as the wood weathers, its gentle grey tones combine with the sea outside.

Lankford Associates Landscape Architects

Gravel, whether used as a route or a patio, helps tie in a backyard with all the landscape around it. This entry patio appears right in your home, as would a patio of decomposed granite; a formal brick patio would look strange.

Lankford Associates Landscape Architects

Add the Finishing Touches

An Adirondack chair is the classic beach accessory, at home on either coast. Weathered gray is the conventional look, but it is also possible to locate them in vivid colors and easy-care plastics.

Jeffrey Gordon Smith Landscape Architecture

A bench set at the middle of a sea of shrubs and grasses is the best getaway for relaxing. Again, the weathered grey look blends in with all the soft colors around it.

The Garden Route Company

Subtle is good, but bold is not out of place. Though these colors are often thought of as tropical, the orange of the cushions will not reflect the shade on the Golden Gate Bridge in the distance — and really is a bright spot in a foggy Northern California location.

Randy Thueme Design Inc. – Landscape Architecture

Do not Forget Comfort

Ocean breezes may be strong, and the warmth could be cool, especially at night or when it is foggy. A windbreak along with a fire pit are two enhancements you’ll use frequently.

Jeffrey Gordon Smith Landscape Architecture

There is no doubt that there are fire components within this garden. These fire features are a good way to enjoy the fires while still keeping them under control and keeping the area warm into the night.

Lenkin Design Inc: Landscape and Garden Design

Whether you’re by the sea or in the Midwest, an enclosed patio like this one catches the ocean vibe. It begins with the wood deck, a classic beachfront attribute, then includes all the other necessary elements. The walls block the end, the plantings are shore motivated, and the colors can not be overcome.

Samuel H. Williamson Associates

Throw in Some Extras

In case you’re by the shore, an outdoor shower is a welcome inclusion. The paving makes it easy to maintain the area under it sand and clean free, and you’ll certainly track less sand to the house.

Rethink Design Studio

Better still, a washer and drier near where you enter the house can easily corral moist clothes. Adding a little changing area would make this area more effective for transitioning from shore to inside.


Of course, if you have this view, this pool and also this ocean, it may be time to overlook landscaping and just relax.

5 Bright, Cheerful Coastal Garden Flowers
8 Ornamental Grasses for Coastal Gardens

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