Plant What Where | Coastal Selections

Date: 02-01-2018

PLANT WHAT WHERE | Coastal Selections

Ironically, the environment can be both your muse and your enemy when planning a coastal garden. Sandy soils, exposure to winds, and salt are just some of the issues that can plague a seaside landscape.

The key to successful a coastal garden is to work with the environment – not against it. This does not have to mean a restricted plant palette: in fact, options are extensive thanks to a range of native and exotic species which can be combined in a variety of ways to make a visually interesting, yet suitably adapted landscape.

Preparation and planning are vital to any coastal garden design. Understand your soils, and select plants that perform best in that soil type. Sandy soils retain less moisture and nutrients. If planting on sloping banks, consider the impact of wind and rain on soil erosion, and incorporate plants that will reduce the loss of precious topsoil.

Water is critical in coastal environments. Consider optimal times (Autumn, early-Winter and early-mid Spring) for planting to ensure that plants receive sufficient water during the establishment phase. If this is not possible due to sparse rainfall, consider irrigation for plant health. Improving soil with organic matter, such as mulch, may also improve with dehydration – especially over the summer months. Mulch should be replenished every 12 months for good results.


Plant Selections:


Mandevilla laxa
An attractive climber when given a frame or structure to do so. Long lasting highly fragrant flowers in the warmer months, generally starting early summer. This fast-growing low maintenance climber will make a big impact near windows and doors or in entertainment areas where its flowers and fragrance can be enjoyed to full effect.


Lomandra longifolia 'Tanika' pbr Featuring stunning blue-grey weeping foliage, this variety grows in most soil types and is extremely hardy in dry conditions. These grasses look great in mass plantings and can be clipped to shape

Agapanthus praecox 'Baby Pete' pbr
This dwarf clumping cultivar grows to 40cm, featuring mid-blue flowers on short flower spikes,

Other great performers to consider include Limonium perezii and Clivias.


Euphorbia ‘Silver Swan’ pbr
Variegated foliage adds texture and interest to your landscape. Produces spikes of creamy flowers from late Winter through Spring. Will tolerate dry periods once established.

Nandina ‘Moonbay’ pbr
These hardy shrubs bring colour to coastal gardens. They thrive in most situations and look great when mass-planted. Foliage colour intensifies during Winter or when grown in nutrient-depleted soils.

Westringia ‘Jervis Gem’
This is the compact version of Westringia ‘Wynyabbie Gem’. This is a tough, compact shrub with narrow, grey-green foliage and mauve flowers produced all year around. Great for clipped balls.

Casuarina glauca 'Greenwave' pbr
This hardy Australian native with green needle-like foliage forms a ball-shape naturally, making it a great screening plant without any need for pruning.

Correa alba
This hardy variety is ideal as a screening plant or hedge and works well with both native and exotic plants. Grey-green foliage with white flowers appearing in later Autumn and Winter. Great for clipped balls.

Pittosporum tobira 'Miss Muffett'
This medium evergreen shrub features glossy green foliage and clusters of white flowers through summer.


Acacia ‘Copper Tips’
Copper Tips will make a fantastic informal screen or feature plant, as the beautiful weeping foliage can be used very effectively in most garden styles. Mixes well with Banksia praemorsa, Elaeocarpus and Agonis Burgundy. Underplant with new varieties of Lomandra and Dianella.

Laurus nobilis ‘Miles Choice’
This compact Bay Laurel variety is drought and salt tolerant and is an effective hedging and screening plant. Responds well to clipping and is an excellent choice for a more formal coastal design. You might also consider the smaller-growing ‘Baby Bay’pbr for borders or low hedging.

Banksia ‘Sentinel’
Attract birds to your garden with this thin-growing, upright screen. Tolerant of wind, salt and sandy conditions associated with living along the coast and produces distinctive yellow flowers.

Banksia verticillata
This native shrub bears bright, golden flower spikes in summer and autumn, and attracts nectar feeding birds to the garden also. Works great in coastal gardens as it can create a windbreak and help with erosion control.


Agonis ‘Lemon and Lime’ pbr 
With beautiful weeping foliage, Agonis can help create the ultimate coastal feel. These elegant modern natives provide great colour contrast with striking yellow-green foliage of ‘Lemon and Lime’ .

Tolerant to full sun, poor soils and drought, olive varieties are a versatile selection for coastal gardens. Consider ‘Del Morocco’ with slightly weeping foliage, or the French ‘Picholine’ variety – a strong upright form with medium sized fruit.

Banksia verticillata

Banksia verticillata

For more inspiration:
DOWNLOAD our Plant What Where PDF 
Veiw Nathan Burkett's work
and our PINTEREST page.