How to Start a Coastal Garden
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Published by TOP4 Team
Nowadays, coastal gardens are evolving into the perfect compliment for the modern house, and are becoming more multi-faceted, adventurous, even exciting. Coastal gardeners are opening up to more diverse plant choices and adding elements such as sculpture and rock features to create drama. The goal is to be low-maintenance yet create a garden that captures the relaxed atmosphere typical of coastline areas while providing a consistently reliable visual delight.
Checking site conditions
Before you get started, it’s extremely important to be aware of the many complex factors that can drastically affect what you plant and how you plant. The right choices will result in rapid and healthy growth and a garden you can be proud of in no time. The main things to consider are:
- Soil: Soil type can vary greatly across an average-sized block, especially in coastal areas. Take a few samples from different areas to get a true idea of pH and the gravel, sand or clay content. Expect to do some basic soil building for best results, as many seaside locations have light-textured, sandy soil.
- Wind and salt: Wind can burn leaves in any location, but on the coast it’s laden with salt, which can destroy many plants quickly. You need to be aware of how brutal this can be on a windy day, given your site’s aspect. If you’re close to the water, then chances are you’re dealing with first-line salt. If you’re set back a bit, or have a few obstacles between you and the water in the form of trees or houses, then you’re in a second-line salt position.
- Neighbourhood: Take a walk around the neighbourhood and see what’s growing well in a similar aspect. Another great indicator is council plantings. They have to survive with no care at all, so a thriving plant on a roundabout may be a great choice for you, especially in a holiday home where there is no one around on a regular basis to provide plant care.
Choosing coastal plants
There’s a huge number of plants to suit any combination of the above site conditions. Planting tightly in groups will give protection in the tender first few weeks and months, and if your coastal garden is also rural, tree guards will keep juicy grasses safe from rabbits. Meanwhile, mulching is a great way to keep weeds at bay, and this makes for less competition with the plants you want to grow.
Emerging garden trends
Most coastal gardens are sympathetic with the architecture of the house they surround and many designs are also affected by the size of the block. A large block may have a lawn as well as rambling native grasses and shrubs, and maybe even a few fruit trees and grapevines -- a sort of minicountry estate.
In planning to put up a coastal garden, remember that you need to work with the conditions you have. Gain more knowledge about gardening as you work with the leading gardening businesses.