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 coastal gardens 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.


Plant Selections:


Hardenbergia ‘Sea of Purple’ pbr
This wandering native makes a great cover. With larger, glossier foliage, it is excellent for preventing soil erosion, it covers large areas quickly It flowers abundantly in late Winter and early Spring with beautiful clusters of purple blooms.  


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.

Corea 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
Also known as Japanese Pittosporum, this medium evergreen shrub is great for hedging or screening. 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.

Nerium ‘Vanilla Cream’
If you’re looking for Summer holiday flowering, this dense evergreen plant features fragrant creamy flowers with a distinctive vanilla scent from Spring through to Autumn.

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.


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.

For more inspiration:
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