Living on the coast certainly has its perks. The short walk to the beach, the after-work plunge into the ocean, and the beautiful sunsets, fishing, surfing, the list doesn’t stop. While the ocean living is literally ‘the dream’, those living next to it will know there are a few things that should be considered when setting up your garden and outdoor living area.
1. Think about salt
Yes, it seems obvious, but it’s salty like you’ve never seen before. If you’ve washed and polished your windows – don’t expect them to last long before they’re covered in a thin salty crust. The salt levels next to the ocean have some serious implications for your garden. Not only is the ground more saline, the air too has a higher salt content – wind lifts particles off the ocean and carries them inland. When designing your garden it’s important to test your soil and see how saline it is, but also work with plants that have a high salt tolerance. The likes of Agave, Hedera ivy, and Magnolia grandiflora are all highly salt tolerant plants that will thrive on the coast.
Expect a lot of wind. During a storm, the coastal areas are always hardest hit by strong winds. Destructive winds cause a problem not just for plants and trees, but also for the structures around your house and garden. Plan accordingly with appropriate wind breaks to protect less stable plants and looser ground. Every garden has different topography, and wind will interact with the garden differently depending on the height and aspect. Think creatively about how to use your space effectively. Hedges or shrubs can serve as the perfect barrier to protect more vulnerable plans behind, while vines and ground cover are a great way of preserving your top-soil.
Seaside living means sand will be literally everywhere. In the house, on the porch, and learning to live with it can take time. When planting a new garden near the coast, always make sure you’ve got enough nutrients in the soil. You’ll know if it’s too sandy by the colour and texture of the soil.
The coast can be a bright and sunny place. With not many forests or buildings for miles, Perth garden design that maximises sunlight is both exciting and rewarding. The heat of the sun can be calmed by trees and shrubbery, so surround yourself with a green-space that you can relax in. A communal sit-down area and a central table are both perfect additions. Make the most of a view by celebrating it with the space and greenery it deserves.
5. Make the garden yours
Make your coastal garden truly yours by carefully curating and choosing plants and structures that really fit your vision. There’s never a rush to get it perfect first go either. Be mindful of the plants you choose, where you plant them, and enjoy.