A coastal garden is usually a challenge, and being based on the western edge of our beautiful island, a lot of my clients have gardens by the sea. The biggest challenge is usually the wind – not just its strength and frequency, but the salt it carries with it which can be so harmful to sensitive leaves and flowers. Being the west of Ireland, rainfall is high and soil by the sea often tends to be sandy, full of rocks and low in nutrients. But there are few amongst us who don’t love the sea – and that can often lead to the biggest challenge of all – how to create a sheltered garden without losing your view of the rolling waves.
Good design solutions for coastal gardens include barriers that allow the wind to filter through, helping to slow it down. Solid walls can sometimes cause extra turbulence, as wind hits one side and tumbles over. Toughened glass screens are becoming increasingly popular, and are probably best suited to more contemporary spaces, but with careful consideration they can be incorporated into other garden styles as well. Semi permeable barriers of weatherproof timber or woven natural materials such as willow or hazel are suitable for more relaxed designs, but need to be placed carefully to maximise shelter while retaining as much of the sea view as possible.
Paving choices need careful consideration too – you don’t want to ruin the natural beauty around you with a patio that looks like a car park. Paving stone that sits well with the surrounding landscape is a good starting point. Loose shingle and round cobble stones can evoke the atmosphere of a natural pebble beach, have the advantage of being permeable, and can be softened by drifts of natural planting flowing seamlessly through the space.
Planting for coastal gardens can be difficult – but a surprising number and variety of plants will be very happy by the seaside. Let’s take a look at some of them next week!
Coastal gardens bring challenges from exposure and salt laden winds
Anne Byrne Garden Design provides easy to follow Garden Plans that you can implement right away or in stages. Anne’s design flair and passion for plants brings a touch of magic to gardens of all sizes.
Anne Byrne Garden Design – Creative Ideas – Practical Solutions – Stunning Gardens