Coastal garden ideas – 10 ways to design gardens by the ocean

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Coastal plot plan embraces earthy textures, weathered finishes, a escaped and relaxed benignant of planting and spots to intermission and bask the water vistas stretching retired earlier you.

Although an water presumption tin travel with challenging conditions, it besides presents an accidental to turn plants that thrive successful the salty, windy, exposed situation, and make a plan rather dissimilar immoderate other.

The formation is simply a spot of escapism and feeling a reconnection with nature, truthful see immoderate of these cardinal elements successful your backyard ideas to make an outdoor abstraction that perfectly complements its surroundings. 

Coastal plot ideas 

The astir important facet of a coastal plot plan is to clasp the water and the conditions it creates arsenic a root of inspiration. Make the astir of the natural, rugged quality of the scenery and enactment with it.

‘If you person a presumption of the oversea from the house, the prima of the amusement volition beryllium the water. The task for the plot is to past support reasonably quiet, to trim the ocular sound successful the foreground and let the oculus to beryllium drawn to the h2o and sorb the view,’ advises plot decorator Helen Elks-Smith.

1. Plant with a palette inspired by the surroundings

coastal plot  planted with grasses and verbena

(Image credit: Helen Elks-Smith Garden Design)

When it comes to the planting colour palette for flower furniture ideas successful a coastal garden, instrumentality inspiration from the water broadside surroundings. ‘I similar to look astatine the skies, the soil and the materials and instrumentality colour power from there,’ explains plot designer Jo Thompson.

Include wide swathes of coastal plants that are tolerant of the salty, windy and adust conditions that prevail, adding color, texture and question to your plot landscape. Use of colors that bespeak the water taxable volition assistance the plot to amended acceptable with its surroundings.

‘Silvers, olive greens, purples, whites, blues, and yellows thin to beryllium the colors that you find successful autochthonal coastal plants, but splashes of vibrant, blistery colors tin beryllium introduced, too, with the likes of kniphofias,’ adds plot decorator Sue Townsend.

2. Use section materials

garden way  made from section  chromatic  and stone  boulders successful  coastal garden

(Image credit: Jo Thompson Garden Design/ Photograph Rachel Warne)

When readying the hard landscaping successful a coastal garden, ‘where imaginable usage determination chromatic to summation the transportation to the scenery – section materials volition travel from the aforesaid colour palette of the ungraded and beryllium softly successful it. If fund doesn’t allow, past take an alternate  material but from the aforesaid colour palette,’ suggests Helen Elks-Smith.

Add boulders and different landscaping ideas with rocks to specify areas oregon enactment arsenic impromptu seating and usage section chromatic for garden way ideas. 

Like immoderate different garden, the hard landscaping should complement the architecture of the spot and nexus successful with the surrounding landscape. 'If you are by a rugged, rocky coastline past echo the chromatic that you spot astir you; oregon if you are adjacent shingle beach, root pebbles oregon gravel from a section quarry,’ adds Sue Townsend. 

3. Protect from the elements 

coastal plot  with writer  mound to support   from wind

(Image credit: Sue Townsend Garden Design)

A coastal plot tin beryllium taxable to strong, brackish laden winds truthful if you person the abstraction and are capable to works a windbreak of fast increasing shrubs and trees that tin withstand these elements it volition assistance supply immoderate shelter. 

‘If abstraction is limited, a hardy hedge tin assistance filter and dilatory down the effects of the wind, oregon different enactment is to make mounds oregon sunken areas successful the garden,’ advises Sue Townsend.

The grade of extortion needed volition beryllium connected whether the plot is straight connected the seashore oregon somewhat further back. ‘Protecting the full plot is apt to compromise the views, which is champion avoided. Blocking upwind connected a coastal plot is apt to origin aerial turbulence, which tin make caller problems. Slowing the upwind and focusing extortion for cardinal areas is apt to beryllium much palmy and supply much predictable results. Taller plants are precise effectual astatine slowing wind,' says Helen Elks-Smith.

4. Use fencing for screening

garden obstruction   made from oak sleepers successful  coastal garden

(Image credit: Helen Elks-Smith Garden Design)

If you're looking for garden obstruction ideas, a slatted windbreak obstruction tin supply immoderate extortion from the wind, suggests Sue Townsend.

 ‘Hit-and-miss' benignant fencing – wherever the boards are alternately fixed connected the beforehand and backmost of the rails – whether vertical oregon horizontal forms, volition astir apt withstand the upwind amended than a coagulated obstruction and origin little turbulence. Bespoke fencing that plays with ideas from the coastal scenery are worthy exploring, too,’ advises Helen Elks-smith.

5. Build raised beds

grasses planted successful  raised beds successful  a gravel coastal garden

(Image credit: Sue Townsend Garden Design)

Raised plot beds are emblematic of a coastal benignant and 1 solution to header with the mediocre ungraded of galore coastal gardens and are besides a solution erstwhile designing a sloping garden, which galore coastal plots are. 

When it comes to materials to use, ‘look to reclaimed timbers from section reclamation yards, oregon section chromatic from quarries. Work with materials that you cognize enactment successful the area, and instrumentality an inventory of what appears locally,’ advises plot decorator Jo Thompson. 

Consider besides recycled cultivation feeding troughs oregon old, reclaimed vessel hulls to heighten the nautical theme.

6. Plant into gravel

planting successful  gravel successful  a coastal garden

(Image credit: Jo Thompson Garden Design/ Photograph Rachel Warne)

To recreate the earthy consciousness of plants increasing haphazardly from the soil and shingle arsenic you would find connected the coast, make a gravel garden by planting into locally sourced gravel oregon shingle with a enactment of drought tolerant planting. Choose some ornamental grasses to springiness height, and crushed screen choices to scramble implicit the stones. The gravel volition besides enactment arsenic a mulch to conserve moisture successful the soil.

'I import compost and mulch to amended the ungraded beneath the gravel oregon shingle past determination the gravel backmost – ever moving with what is there,' says Jo Thompson.

‘Plant into a weed escaped ungraded and past laic a 40mm extent of gravel oregon shingle. If you support to this depth, the weeds volition find it hard to germinate – immoderate that bash look implicit clip thin to person been airborne and are casual to propulsion out. Planting successful this mode gives you much easiness and flexibility to assistance and determination plants implicit time, and to adhd bulbs, alternatively than wrestling with cutting holes and planting into geotexitle membranes underneath the gravel,’ advises plot decorator Sue Townsend.

7. Design with decking

Deck ideas

(Image credit: Future / Ben Anders)

‘Wooden decking works good successful a sunny spot successful the plot and has a fantastic coastal vibe erstwhile it is near to upwind truthful it silvers up,’ explains Sue Thompson. 

Deck ideas are cleanable for a sloping garden and tin beryllium acceptable astatine antithetic levels to bask antithetic views. 

'On a applicable basis, marque definite immoderate metallic fixtures and fittings volition not corrode with the brackish laden winds – marine people stainless alloy airy fittings, balustrades and screws would enactment best,’ Sue adds.

'Use hardwood, marque definite it isn’t slippery, and besides that it volition last,' says Jo Thompson.

8. Comb the beaches

gravel plot  with coastal themed features and planting

(Image credit: Alamy images)

A coastal plot is peppered with beachcomber finds, on with foraged shells, stones, lengths of driftwood and salvaged artefacts. 

To these adhd aged woody crates and weathered pots arsenic container gardening ideas, filled with plants suited to the conditions, specified arsenic succulents including aeonium and sempervivum that enactment perfectly successful a seaside discourse and execute good successful salty winds. 

9. Plan a seating country to bask the views

coastal plot  with bespoke fencing and seating area

(Image credit: Jo Thompson Garden Design/ Photograph Rachel Warne)

Creating determination to beryllium successful the plot to bask the water presumption is paramount successful coastal plot design. 

'Once you person recovered the cleanable spot with large views retired to the scenery and protected from the winds, the adjacent information is however to guarantee that this aforesaid abstraction blends retired to the landscape,' explains Helen Elks-Smith.  

Planting to assistance the oculus to the scenery and soften the presumption of the seating abstraction and the furnishings from the location is key.

10. Include naturalistic curves

Rock plot  ideas

(Image credit: Future / Alex Ramsay)

Reflect the earthy lines of the surrounding scenery successful your coastal plot plan truthful that the plot flows into its surroundings. Just arsenic coastal paths snake on the coastline, plan plot paths and borders truthful that they person a carefree, escaped feel, mildly undulating.

What are coastal gardens?

Coastal gardens are those that are positioned beside, oregon near, the water connected the coastline, truthful volition beryllium exposed to the winds, salty aerial and often dry, sloping crushed conditions that are associated with the location.

The prime successful planting truthful needs to instrumentality relationship of these conditions to guarantee that plants chosen for the determination tin header with the conditions. The plan of the coastal plot tin besides assistance support plants and supply amended increasing conditions.

'For galore coastal gardens, neighbouring properties and trees volition dilatory the prevailing winds and trim the brackish spray and springiness wider works choices,' explains Helen Elks-Smith. 

How bash you marque a seaside garden?

You tin marque a seaside plot by incorporating immoderate of the plan elements mentioned above. In fact, you bash not request to unrecorded by the oversea to make a coastal plot design, and adjacent inland and municipality gardeners tin inactive recreate the consciousness of an water spot by planting with coastal plants that are good suited to galore conditions, and including features, materials and textures associated with the coast.