Sad because you have got a beach home and sandy soil that doesn’t favour a garden? Coastal conditions can be challenging for gardening and plants, with high winds, sandy soil that cannot hold water and nutrients well, salt exposure and lack of sun with colder summers.
Why to worry? There is as much scope for you to grow a lovely garden as an interior homeowner has. You need to choose just the right plants for your beachy garden and ensure they will survive and look awesome. Here are a few tricks that will cheer you up.
1. Aim at the Coastal Vibe
Coastal gardens look best with that beachy vibe, with a relaxing environment that keeps the sense of proximity to sea always up. They also have to create a sense of retreat, that can slow down a busy person giving a relaxation, just at a glance.
2. Choosing Coastal Hedge Trees and Plants
Your coastal garden will work best when it will create a bit of unorganized and natural look, rather than extremely well-maintained and neat. You can choose from a range of drought-tolerant plants that are perfect for a coastal garden.
For example, a tree named coast banksia (Banksia integrifolia) acts as an excellent buffer for other plants and defend them from harsh winds. Even a mix of eucalyptus works well and they look perfect in a coastal setting.
Shrubs – Shrubs like coastal rosemary (Westringia fruticosa), diosma (Coleonema), hebe and woolly bush (Adenanthos sericeus) are all fantastic bushy shrubs that thrive in coastal areas. They will also serve well as fillers in your landscapes.
Succulents – An array of succulents like blue chalk sticks (Senecio serpens), pigface (Carpobrotus) and agave are ideal for your coastal garden.
Grasses – Succulents look best with the contrast of grass varieties like orange sedge (Carex testacea), fountain grass (Pennisetum setaceum) or coast tussock grass (Poa poiformis).
An additional tip here is if you group your plantings close together, they will get extra protection from the coastal atmosphere.
3. Path Toppings and Mulches
The standard path material won’t work for a coastal garden. If you want to maintain a beachy look of the garden, you should get a few materials from the sand and soil retailers in your area that you cannot commonly get in the interiors.
One of these materials is crushed seashell mix which is available in the form of small bits of seashells. This material can be used for driveways, paths or mulch and makes a sound when you walk on it. However, be careful while walking on it barefoot. Be careful about children too.
Another fantastic material is granitic sand (also called grit mulch or decomposed granite). This also works for all three purposes and especially as mulch to control weeds once it becomes hard. It hardens well to attain an almost white colour but its top layer remains loose and looks sandy.
4. Sandy Soils
In coastal gardens, there is often little to no fertile soil. Most of these areas are made of sandy soil that is not capable of holding water and nutrients for plants. So, how to overcome this difficulty?
There is one way – to add a lot of organic matter to the sand. You may have to do this over time and keep adding the matter every year to ensure the soil accumulates some nutrients.
Though many coastal regions receive high rainfall, it doesn’t mean that the rain will remain held in the sandy grounds for longer. Therefore, mulching is important to increase water retention.
Another important addition is slow-release fertilisers to ensure healthy growth of plants.