Gardening and choosing the right plants should always be a fun and exciting challenge but when it comes to creating the perfect garden in a coastal situation, where the conditions can be too harsh for many plants with the regular strong salt laden onshore winds, it may seem particularly challenging. Surprisingly there are a great number of plants that will thrive in this habitat, especially for those plants that dislike the colder inland positions and appreciate the milder climate near the sea with the reduced chance of frosty conditions.
There are effective ways to create a more favourable environment to help shrubs, hedging plants and ground cover plants establish themselves including creating a sunken area for them to sit. Other ways include putting up wind filtering screens of windbreak netting or woven willow or hazel hurdles whilst a hedge, that will do this job itself once fully grown, is getting its roots down. The kind of hedging plants that are often seen in coastal areas, creating an excellent eye-catching barrier once established are Griselinia Littoralis, with its bright leathery apple green leaves and Escallonias giving a little more interest with their glossy dark leaves and delicate flowers.
Others excellent varieties within a long list which should also be considered are Cotoneasters, Eleagnus, Daisy Bush (Oleria), Spotted Laurel (Acuba Japonica Variegata) or Willows. Once a barrier has been established it should be less of a problem to grow a large variety of shrubs and ground cover with the use of mulches to conserve water and the addition of organic matter to aid the retention of water.