Coastal landscaping is a specialised type of garden design. It aims to create attractive and useful outdoor areas in coastal settings. Being near water has both benefits and limitations.  They have an impact on coastal surroundings, whether you live next to a lake, a bay, or the ocean. This article will examine coastal landscaping traits. It will also look at the typical plants found in coastal gardens. We’ll provide you with tips on how to establish your own sanctuary by the sea.

Defining Features of Coastal Landscaping

1. Salt and Wind Tolerance

Coastal flora needs strong winds and salty air. These are common in coastal areas. To reduce salt damage and dehydration, salt-tolerant plants have developed waxy leaves, succulent tissues, or unique roots. 

2. Drought Resistance

Coastal landscapes often have droughts. Sandy soils and hot, sunny conditions cause rapid evaporation and limit water. Drought-resistant plants are great for coastal environments. They need little watering and care once established.

3. Erosion Control

Wind and waves erode soil and make slopes unstable. So, coastal landscapes are prone to erosion. Permeable materials, erosion structures, and dune grass prevent erosion. They also stabilise soil and prevent erosion along coastlines.

4. Native Plant Selection

Native plants are best for coastal landscapes. They are suitable for the soil and climate of the area. Compared to non-native species, native plants require less water and care. They also provide habitat for animals and support the local environment.

5. Water Conservation

Freshwater supplies may be scarce or subject to conservation rules. So, conserving water is crucial in coastal areas. Using coastal landscaping techniques has two benefits. They encourage environmentally friendly agricultural practices and save on water consumption. These techniques include rainwater collection, drip irrigation, and xeriscaping.

1. Beach Grasses

Coastal gardening relies on beach grasses. Key types are American beachgrass and dune grass. Leymus mollis is a plant called dune grass. Ammophila breviligulata is a plant called American beachgrass. Along coastal shorelines, they stabilise sandy soils and prevent erosion. These grasses create natural dunes. They shield inland areas from storm surges and flooding. This is because their deep root systems anchor soil and trap sand.

2. Salt-Tolerant Shrubs

Salt-tolerant shrubs are seashore goldenrod, beach plum, and bayberry. They can also tolerate sandy soils. These plants stabilise the soil. They also provide wildlife habitat. They improve the colour and texture of coastal areas.

3. Coastal Wildflowers

Wildflowers grow on the coast. Wildflowers are sea lavender (Limonium spp.), seaside aster (Symphyotrichum spp.), and beach sunflower (Helianthus debilis). They thrive in sunny and sandy conditions. They also attract pollinators such as bees and butterflies. Wildflowers add beauty and biodiversity to coastal gardens. They require little maintenance once established.

4. Succulents and Cacti

Cacti and succulents thrive well in coastal environments. They grow in sandy, well-drained soils and can withstand drought. Examples of coastal succulents are seaside daisies (Erigeron glaucus), sea figs (Carpobrotus chilensis), and ice plants (Carpobrotus spp.). They give colour and texture to coastal gardens. They also save water and reduce work.

5. Coastal Trees

Trees such as the Southern magnolia, Monterey cypress, and coastal live oak provide the best habitat in coastal areas. They also provide shade and cover for wildlife. These trees enhance the beauty and richness of coastal gardens. They suit the harsh coastal environment.

Tips for Creating Your Own Coastal Oasis

1. Research Local Conditions

Consider the local climate, soil, and environment. Do this before starting your coastal landscape project. Use this info to choose the right plants and materials. When you choose plants, factors like wind, sun, and seawater proximity.

2. Use Native Plants

Use native plants in your coastal landscape design. They save care, help local ecosystems, and save water. Choose plants that thrive in coastal areas. They also provide local creatures with food and habitat.

3. Create Windbreaks

Plant windbreaks. They can be hedges, shrubs, or trees. They provide shelter from strong coastal winds. They also reduce wind damage to plants and structures. Windbreaks also help create microclimates that support a wider range of plants and increase garden production.

4. Mulch and Amend Soil

To improve soil fertility and water retention in sandy coastal soils, you should add organic matter. These amendments help retain moisture, improve soil structure, and deliver nutrients for better plant growth.

5. Implement Water-Saving Techniques

Implement water-saving strategies in your coastal landscape. They include rainwater collection, drip irrigation, and xeriscaping. These methods encourage sustainable gardening habits. You can also choose drought-tolerant plants. Don’t water them too much to encourage strong, healthy plant growth.


Coastal landscaping presents a unique opportunity to design exquisite and resilient outdoor areas that flourish in coastal environments. You may build a coastal oasis that minimises environmental impact and care requirements. It will enhance the beauty and biodiversity of your coastal landscape. Some strategies are to utilise native plants, grow salt-tolerant plants, save water, and apply erosion control techniques.