Let Nature Inspire Your Own Landscape: Shape a Sea-Inspired Garden
Coastal habitats are mesmerizing. As people, we often maintain our gaze on the sea, however the vegetation is worth our attention also. As people, we cherish the view, but we ought to carefully think about how to support it with plants. So what if celebrating plants in the wild could advise how to plant a tiny corner of seaside paradise? And, better still, what if we could suggest with plants a beachfront place without even having it?
The Cape Point Nature Reserve in southwestern South Africa is a famous coastal scene, one which busloads of tourists along with a small number of hikers visit every day. This narrow finger of land is blown by ceaseless winds and battered with relentless waves — it is treacherous water.
Fynbos, a dense and very low matrix of evergreen shrubs, and Restio, a neighborhood botanical specialization someplace between grass and horsetail, elegantly cover the earth.
At the base of taller shrubs, a myriad of small treasures nestle between logs and rocks at Cape Point. Protected in the salt spray and the drying end, gems such as this miniature blue daisy (Felicia sp) thrive in less-than-average soil.
Mean and lean are all key to farming for the vast majority of authentic blossom plants, so refrain from a lot of fertilizer and irrigation.
A hemisphere away, in Tofino, British Columbia, lies a very different but no less dramatic seascape. The trees of the cool, temperate rainforest that blankets this land adapt to the wind and salt spray by decreasing in height and getting impressive, sculpted silhouettes. Plants crawl as close to the beach as possible.
As soon as a stone turns its back to the ground, or when a sand dune stands up, plants colonize the relaxed microclimate created. In the garden we should carefully watch the lay of the land and identify those microclimates, natural or man-made, to take full advantage of those.
With this stone in Tolfino thankfully trails a native monkey blossom (Mimulus sp).
Such microclimates are often very micro. On a beach in South Africa, a raised rock was sufficient with this particular strawflower (Helichrysum sp) to disperse itself and bloom generously, deprived of any competition. One wonders if it enjoys the view at all.
All these Sitka spruces (Picea sitchensis) generally reach over 200 feet tall, yet they are overcrowded and dwarfed by the spit from the sea.
The outline of the thicket vaguely reminds us of the grassed sand dunes of additional seaside locales. Both are a part of the vernacular which ought to be cherished in any beachfront garden design project.
Seaside gardens aren’t any place for lush and supple foliage, rich and titanic blossoms. Here plants have dense foliages made of thick, leathery leaves. Lavender (Lavandula spp), of Mediterranean origin, perfectly matches this particular space.
In the same way, rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis cvs) seems a perfect candidate for an exposed spot on the sea. At the Getty Villa in Los Angeles, this rosemary gracefully drapes over a sand-colored rock, a detail adding greatly to the layout.
Plenty of perennials and shrubs adapt to harsh beachfront places in colder climates also. Rugosa rose (Rosa rugosa cvs, zones 2 to 8), beach grass of different varieties and candy gale (Myrica gale, zones 2 to 6, shown here), are a couple of examples.
Even with no ocean view, this vignette would indicate the sea in any geographic location. The low, grayish ground cover, the tufted grasses along with the sand-colored pavers do the trick … as well as the wisely positioned driftwood bench.
Ronald F. DiMauro Architects, Inc..
Again, a simple planting affirms this beachfront location. Notice the exposed earth around the plants in the foreground; its own sandy color ties in directly with the sandy beach nearby (as does the timber on the deck), making the whole scene that much more persuasive.
The sand dune is just another feature typical of coastal environments which may be reinterpreted in a garden.
Here a mound of soil partly displays off the residence. With their ability to sway in the slightest breeze along with the tan color of their inflorescences, these grasses transport us straight to Nantucket.
Elemental Design Group
You can indicate water with big, undulating drifts of silver-colored or even blue-flowered plants, such as this verbena (Verbena sp). Consider also lavender (Lavandula spp), fescues (Festuca spp), blue wheatgrass (Elymus magellanicus, zones 6 to 9) and dwarf Arctic willow (Salix purpurea ‘Nana’, zones 4 to 8).
Cottage Home, Inc..
Once you’ve accomplished all your gardening tasks and no longer hiking is required for further inspiration, then you can sit at the water’s edge and look off, above and outside all plants, far, far away …
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