Life’s a Beach … Seaside Gardening

escallonia_macrantha_flowers_29-08-04I spent a lovely day in Pembrokeshire last week, advising a couple on a planting scheme for their beautiful cliff top garden.  Although the benefits are usually stunning views, seaside gardening has challenges of its own with strong winds and salt air.

Although being careful not to block any views, establishing good boundaries to provide shelter for your site is a good place to start.

will provide a good, tough, evergreen hedge with the bonus of red summer flowers.  It’s a tall growing variety but is happy being clipped back to suit.  Hippophae rhamnoides (Sea Buckthorn) also makes a great seaside hedge as its as tough as old boots.  The sharp thorns make it a good choice for added security and if you plant male and female plants you will get fabulous orange berries throughout the winter months.  Pyracantha and elaeagnus will also provide thorny barriers; pyracantha has berry interest and elaeagnus will provide a dense evergreen screen.

Shrubs that will tolerate salty air and sandy soils include Hebes,  Lavender, Rosemary, Senecio,  Cordylines, Euonymus and Spiraea.  If you’re still stuck for ideas, follow Dad’s advice, ‘have a good look around the area to see what’s growing well (note what’s growing wild as well as what’s in other peoples gardens) and simply plant lots of them.’

I made the most of my ‘west day’, by taking Tippy down to Barafundle Bay for the afternoon.  One of our favourite beaches of all time, it was as beautiful as ever in the late summer sun.  We really do have some of the most spectacular scenery in the World, right here in Wales.

Lynne Allbutt – From the Archive.

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