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3 Tips for Creating a Natural-Style Beach Garden

Grace shares her top ideas for creating your own natural-style beach garden. The first two tips can be used in any climate, with the third applying to gardeners in coastal regions.

1. Mimic nature. Instead of constructing traditional walls and fences, she likes to mimic nature with landforms like dunes or rock outcrops. In choosing materials, she recommends looking for ones that would be found on beaches, such as sand, driftwood, shells, sea glass, beach cobbles and pebbles and dune fencing.

2. Use a soothing color palette.
“Strong colors draw the eye. The focus should be on the panoramic view,” Grace says. For beach gardens, she chooses soft gray-greens, blues and sandy tones that harmonize with the sea, beach and sky.

3. Choose tough, beach-friendly plants. Select plants native to your coastal region or ones that are well-adapted to salt spray and wind and do not run the risk of being invasive in native beach habitats.

A few of the designer’s go-to plants for seaside conditions in Southern California include: ‘Canyon Prince’ giant wild rye (Leymus condensatus ‘Canyon Prince’, zones 8 to 10), peppermint geranium (Pelargonium tomentosum, zones 10 to 11), white rugosa rose (Rosa rugosa ‘Alba’, zones 3 to 8) and Cane’s bottlebrush (Callistemon ‘Cane’s Hybrid’, zones 9 to 11), a new favorite.

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