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  • Writer's pictureBridgette Macilwaine

Seaside planting challenges & inspiration

Seaside and coastal gardens are admired by most, but they do come with their challenges and can be designed beautifully with a little thought and analysis. Working in harmony with the micro-climate of your area can be the difference between your garden's success or failure.

These gardens are known for their relaxed ambiance, silvery foliage, calming grasses, pebble selections and bright flowers which add movement and interest to these gardens.

When we finally moved to West Sussex along the south coast of England, I couldn't be more happier, not because of my running routes or the sound of the distant waves, but because I didn't realise how much I would love watching the different coastal plant species along the beach change with the seasons.

As a landscape Architect we are constantly thinking about the right plant for the right location, and now, more than ever with the major impact of climate change, our choice of plants within our gardens will inevitably change depending on our location.

Coastal themed gardens are becoming more popular as these not only consist of a large range of attractive species, but also include a selection of robust wind tolerant, and drought resistant plants.


"How lovely the silence of a seaside walk accompanied by the natural beauty of nature in season"

One of our favourite activities is a relaxing seafront stroll in mid summer to admire the beauty of the seaside planting in full blossom. Paying attention to what is naturally growing around you is a great guide to what will survive in your garden, and this applies to any location you may live in.

The range of colours and textures which grow within a small area of the seafront are quite surprising to most. If you are hoping to get that natural, informal feeling for your own garden, most coastal plants will thrive in any garden with well drained soil and some sunshine. They are a great choice as these plants are tough and used to battling strong winds and salty air.

These two images above are from a seafront garden, where they have small sedums growing along the lor rock wall crevice’s as well as a range of plants in the front garden gravel area, and the aim with these gardens is not to think that you have to cover the entire area with plants and greenery, the gravel and rocky areas are just as beautiful and break up the detail of the plants.

Some of these plant species, and images included here:

  • Crambe maritima

  • Armeria maritima

  • Erigeron Glaucus 'Sea breeze'

  • Silene uniflora

  • Echium vulgare

  • Verbascum 'Gainsborough'

  • Red valerian

  • Agaves

  • Sedums

What are your favourite seaside plants that you look forward to seeing, or is this a theme you would love as part of your garden?


Thanks for reading, until next time.


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