Gardening in Coastal Conditions
Apr 18 2022 Kevin Keane

Gardening in Coastal Conditions

This week’s topics;
● Gardening in coastal conditions - some plant recommendations for
tough conditions
● A Few jobs for the week ahead


Living by the coast can mean enjoying beautiful sea views, lovely
landscapes, beautiful sunsets but can offer some quite challenging
gardening conditions - strong salt laden winds and not much in the way of
shelter can mean it’s important to carefully select plants that are suited to
your area. Depending on your location - be it right on the seafront, a few
miles inland, coastal sheltered or coastal exposed, choosing the plants
that do best for your conditions is important. Seaside locations can have
the advantage of not suffering hard frost and can have a longer growing
season and plenty of good light to encourage the right plants to grow.
When planning gardens in coastal areas there is a need to strike a
balance between providing shelter and some windbreak and at the same
time not blocking the panoramic sea views. If your garden is particularly
exposed, there’s a good range of robust trees and shrubs that can be
planted to serve as a windbreak for the rest of the garden, filtering out
strong salty winds and opening up your planting choices, once the shelter
becomes somewhat established. Using windbreak netting can be of great
benefit to help plants establish, planting shrubs closely so that they can
protect each other and looking around the area to see what is growing
well can offer a great guide of what to grow, avoiding expensive mistakes.
I’ve put together a few tried and tested trees and shrubs that are worth
considering for an exposed or coastal garden;
Trees that can provide shelter include the flowering Hawthorn tree,
Crateagus Paul's Scarlet - beautiful, double pink flowers in May and
ornamental berries, or “Haws” in autumn and winter and a lovely autumn

leaf colour - so lots of seasons of interest and suited for exposed
locations - Other trees worth considering include Scots Pine, Hornbeam
and Alder. Make sure you use a strong stake and a proper tree tie to keep
your trees supported and use a quality compost to give them the best
start possible
For shrubs, one of my favorite shrubs are Pittosporum, they can be
grown as a dense hedge to block out winds, or can be grown as part of a
mixed shrub border - they’re evergreen, beautiful foliage and some will
have scented flowers - Pittosporum Silver Queen has beautiful variegated
leaves that are popular for flower arranging - and probably prefers coastal
sheltered conditions.
Escallonia shrubs are a popular, evergreen flowering shrubs suited for
coastal growing - Escallonia Gold Brian is one of my favorite shrubs -
golden foliage with pink red flowers in late Summer - easy to grow -
reaches a height of about 3 and a half to 4 feet
Phormiums are an excellent choice for windy coastal sites, great in beds
or containers with lots of different varieties and colours to choose from -
they have strap like or sword shaped leaves - you’ll see large varieties
growing along promenades around the coast - Phormium ‘Platt’s Black’
has dark purple, almost black foliage and a very compact habit. Height
and Spread of around 60cm x 90cm and Phormium 'Maori Queen' has
bronze green leaves growing to about 3 feet tall.
For perennials that suit coastal areas, Eryngiums or Sea Holly make a
great addition - they have thistle like flowers that last well when cut, and
make a wonderful cut flower, both in fresh and dried arrangements. It’s
perfect for growing at the front of a herbaceous border and great for
attracting bees and butterflies.
Red Hot Pokers or Kniphofia are another great perennial for seaside
areas adding a good blast of colourful exotic looking flowers - lots of new
varieties available - some suited for containers - with a range of heights
from 9 or 10 inches to 6 feet tall.
Nepta or Catmint and Agapanthus are two other great perennials worth
considering.
For colourful annuals that are great in beds or containers you can grow
calendulas - sometimes called pot marigolds - these flower for ages -
yellow and orange flowers that are edible
Snap Dragons or antirrhinums are real easy to grow - cottage garden
style plants They come in a range of different colours and heights and are
suited to a range of situations - they’ll flower from June to October and
suited to coastal areas.

Most grasses will do very well in coastal areas - Pennisetum, Stipa Pony
tails, Festucas and miscanthus are amongst loads to choose from and
suited to beds or containers.
There’s lots more to choose from - this is just a selection - remember to
check what’s growing well in your area as an indication - and if you need
any help or advice call into Keanes Garden Centre and we’ll look after
you

A Few Jobs for the Week Ahead
As the weather warms up, slugs and snails become very active on damp
nights and they can cause severe damage as new leaves come through
the soil and especially on small new plants. Organic slug pellets are
effective and readily available
Feed all your flowering shrubs and roses - Osmo pro Bloom - will give
some great results
Onion setts, shallots and seed potatoes can be sown for some great
homegrown flavour
Treat the lawn for moss - if it’s bad use a liquid treatment first and follow
up with a granulated feed and weed shortly afterwards