Articles - Landscaping & Gardening

Creating Coastal Gardens to Survive & Thrive. Part 1.

8th June 2016
USED - Article - Coastal Garden

Coast Huggers

Most of us Aussies live on the coast, huddled up as close as we possibly can to the ocean, the beaches and that coastal lifestyle we love so much.
Many of us live in areas with challenging gardening environments. Sandy soil, rocky outcrops and blasting sea breezes are not the right conditions for your average english cottage garden.
So, before you go down the wrong path to heartbreak and wilted dreams, read on and find out how to create a beautiful garden for your new home in our coastal suburbs.

"Most of us love living by the coast (with all respect to the rural Aussies out there!). On the coast, creating beautiful, sustainable gardens can be difficult. Making smart choices and going with plants and materials that are naturally best equipped for coastal living will save you a lot of time and money, and make your new home look great." - newhomesguide.com.au

Coastal Plants

You can make the most of sandy soil by choosing the best coastal plant varieties that are naturally equipped to survive in conditions that would send many plants to the great garden in the sky.
Coastal conditions are testing with salt exposure, high winds and sandy soils that don’t hold water or nutrients. A lack of sunlight can even be an issue in the southern states and regions.

So, get your plant choices just right and you’ll be on your way to having a garden that will survive, and should thrive. More of this in Part 2.

Paths & Mulches

Coastal gardens tend to need something different to your average path materials. It’s great to achieve and maintain a beachy, coastal theme and you should find that your sand and soil suppliers in coastal areas will have some options that are not be typical in urban and inner city areas.

A fantastic option that really pushes the coastal vibe is crushed seashell blends that can be used for paths, driveways and mulch. It sounds lovely when you walk on it too - crunch, crunch, crunch.

Granite sand is another excellent option for gardens on the edge. This is simply decomposed granite or grit mulch and can also be used in the three applications mentioned above. When it has hardened, it’s great at keeping weeds on the back foot. You’ll see many councils in coastal areas using granite sand products and they harden down and turn close to white, with a lovely, loose, sandy layer on top.

Choice Coastal Plants

Coastal gardens work best when left slightly scruffy and natural looking, rather than neat and maintained. A lot of drought-tolerant plants are popular for coastal gardens as, being sandy soil areas, it’s hard to retain water or nutrients.

Coast banksia is a tree that can act as a good buffer for other plants, protecting them from harsh winds. A mix of eucalypts also works well, and they look right at home in a coastal setting.

So, start investigating, planning and get ready to get your coastal garden established and ready for summer.

We’ll have Part 2 with more help for coastal gardens ready for you soon so watch this space.