To get that relaxed seaside look in your garden, you need to pick the flowers that will give you a beachy feel with the use of texture, color, and contrasting shapes. Coastal gardens usually have a relaxed, informal look and rely on natural shades and coastal plants to achieve this. Most coastal gardens deal with a range of weather extremes, from hot sun to strong winds and salty air, and choosing the right plants will help your garden look great and thrive at the same time.
Get the look of a beachy garden by choosing hardy dune plants with bright flowers and a range of foliage colors. Plants that do best in coastal gardens have evolved to survive poor, salty soil and extreme weather. Pick from a variety of flowers to create an informal style.
There’s nothing quite like a coastal garden for that feeling of serenity and escape, wildness and freedom. There are a certain elements to consider when it comes to recreating that beachy feel in your coastal garden. Look at your soil type, the kind of weather you experience, and the angle of your garden slope before deciding on your range of coastal plants.
What Flowers Are Beachy?
Whether you live in a house on the beach or simply trying to recreate that beachy feel, you need to be thoughtful in what plants you choose. When it comes to flowers, you want to use the ones that give you a splash of color while still being able to survive poor soils.
Before you decide which flowers to buy, let’s look at a few things first: you need to know the weather conditions for your coastal zone, the type of soil you have, and the style of coastal garden you prefer.
Just as coastlines around the world differ, so will the style of garden that goes best with them. If you live near the beach, take your cue from your natural surroundings. In this case, it becomes straightforward to choose the right flowers, as you can select native species for your primary plants.
Choosing native flowers for your beachy garden increases the likelihood of your garden doing well in any adverse conditions and is also great for the animals and wildlife in the area.
Think of your garden in layers, as many beaches have high and low areas, and use rocks as part of your beachy style. Include sun-loving plants, and provide shade and attract wildlife. By choosing predominantly native plants, you can enjoy the beauty of your coastal garden without encouraging invasive species.
What Color Flowers are Beachy
Think about the color theme that you would like running through your beachy garden. Many coastal plants have narrow leaves, and the foliage is often gray, silvery, and green. You may want flowers in one particular color shade, such as yellow or pink, with sprinkles of white or complementary shades.
By choosing the primary color for your flowers in your coastal garden, you can immediately narrow down the plants you would like to add for a beachy feel. Remember, the flowers will only have a short life, and the foliage contrasts and shape of the plants you choose will provide the backdrop of your garden.
What Yellow and Orange Flowers are Beachy?
Yellow is a vibrant, joyful color synonymous with wild beaches and summertime. If you choose yellow as your theme for your beachy garden, you will find a wide variety of hardy and salt-resistant flowers to make a coastal garden shine.
Remember to choose plants with various types of foliage, as most flowers are only short-lived or seasonal. By selecting the plants based on the foliage type and color and the size of the plant, you can decide where they will go in your garden.
Choose a mix of life cycles. Long-lasting perennial plants will provide the base of your seaside garden, while annuals and biannuals will give much of your spring and summer color displays.
Below are some suggested yellow and orange flowers for a beachy garden:
Purslane (Portulaca Cultivars)
This summer-blooming flower is well known for its hardiness and ability to survive through droughts. Purslane is a wild-growing plant that can be harvested for its edible leaves, and usually, the flowers are small and bright yellow.
While I love the look of this little plant, some people do see it as little more than a weed. Suppose you’re looking for big showy flowers. In that case, you’ll want to look for the hybrid Portulaca varieties, which are a form of ornamental purslane, and often inedible, so don’t confuse the two!). It’s also known as Moss Rose, which can cause some confusion.
A low-growing ground succulent with reddish stems, Portulacas are an annual who will happily self-seed, keeping your garden in flower every year. This tough little plant is perfect for window boxes and borders and comes in various shades.
Gazania (Gazania rigens)
Gazanias are a brilliant way to bring a splash of summertime color to your beachy garden. They have a daisy-like appearance and are low-growing and hardy. They are evergreen and can be grown as a perennial, spreading groundcover, or treated as an annual for a dash of vibrant color. Plant gazanias in a sunny spot, and you’ll be rewarded with yellow, orange, and gold blooms.
Once your gazanias are established, they will tolerate long periods of drought quite well. To keep them blooming, deadhead them regularly.
Gaillardia (Gaillardia Asterales)
Another robust and daisy-like plant is the gaillardia. The gaillardia has a long blooming season and is a trendy plant for coastal gardens. This showy border plant is a hardy perennial native to North America. It’s also known as a blanket flower and is tolerant of drought and heat. If you’d like more flowers, remember to deadhead your gaillardia regularly and cut the shrubs back at the end of the season.
Gaillardias are easy to care for plants are an excellent way to add color to your beachy garden. You can grow them from seed or propagate them from root cuttings in late winter to early spring.
Lantana (Lantana camara)
If you’re looking for a perennial shrub that thrives in dry, hot weather and provides clusters of bright flowers throughout the growing season, you’ll want to include Lantanas in your beachy garden.
They’re beneficial for sloping gardens as the spreading varieties establish quickly to help prevent erosion. Lantanas provide bright yellow and orange blooms to soft pinks and grays with many types to choose from.
Lantanas can be grown in salty soil, and the many flowers are a great way to attract butterflies to your coastal garden
Bulbs like daylilies are an excellent low-maintenance addition to a coastal garden. While older variants die back over winter, you can keep your garden evergreen by choosing one of the new evergreen or semi-evergreen daylily varieties.
While daylily flowers only last one day, by planting them in clumps or as a large mass of bulbs, you can use daylilies as a striking, showy groundcover. If your soil is a bit sandy, improve it by adding a little fertilizer before planting your daylily bulbs. You can divide the clumps of new bulbs every three or four years.
Daylily flowers come in a wide range of colors, and you can get them from bright reds to golden yellows and deep purples to soft pale pinks and whites.
What Red and Pink Flowers are Beachy?
Reds, crimsons, magentas, and pinks are stunning flower displays for a beachy look. Many of the hardy coastal plants come in these bright shades, so you’ll be spoiled for choice when looking for flowers for your garden.
Have a look through these flowers below and find the perfect addition to your beachy look:
Red Hot Poker (Kniphofia)
With its structured flower cones, this dramatic plant will make a great statement plant or border in a coastal garden. Growing about three feet tall, the red hot poler plant provides vertical interest with its tall flower spikes that range from yellow to orange and red.
Red Hot Poker is a native South African plant that is exceptionally tolerant of heat and drought and will survive well even in salty soils. The tubular flowers are very popular with hummingbirds, bees, and butterflies and are a good way to attract wildlife to your coastal garden.
The long strap-like leaves will add variety to your garden, even when the plant is not in flower. Plant red hot pokers in a bright, sunny spot and water well to establish.
The humble geranium is a variety of pelargonium from warm and temperate parts of the world, making it ideal for a garden that receives a lot of sun. Due to their long flowering period, they are very popular, and the broad, crinkled circular leaves provide contrast to plants with more feathery, delicate foliage.
These fanatically hardy plants provide a rich flower display, with cultivars in shades from soft pinks to deep reds and many with variegated petals. Geraniums grow to about three feet and do well in a sunny spot. While they can survive well without water, they are not frost-hardy, so bear that in mind in beachy gardens further north.
Sea Pink (Armeria maritima)
Looking for a coastal plant that will survive poor soil and high wind and will still reward you with a bed of deep green leaves and a display of lollipop-shaped flowers? Look no further than the Sea Pink, a delightful groundcover that will provide you with masses of flowers through late spring and early summer.
All border of sea pink is a great way to bring charm to beachy gardens. While sea pink won’t do well in shady areas or wet soils, it’s the perfect border plant for a bright sunny garden.
Also known as sea thrift, sea pink has flowers ranging from violet to deep candy magentas to the palest, softest pinks. While it is generally a slow-spreading plant, it will grow and spread once it is established.
Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)
This herbaceous flowering perennial is a perfect coastal plant for a bright sunny garden. It’s an easy-care, hardy plant that can stand up to the cold, drought, and the wind and is just about pest free. Look for blooms in whites, yellows, and oranges through pinks and soft lavender.
Yarrow should be planted in well-drained soil in full sun, and they can grow about 3 feet tall and 3 feet wide. You can grow yarrow from seed, or if you already have an established plant, it can be propagated by division.
What Blue and Purple Flowers are Beachy?
What coastal garden won’t look great with blue and purple flowers reflecting the colors of the sea and sky? They look particularly stunning against foliage that is silver and grey. Pair these plants with coastal seagrasses and rocky slopes for a compelling beachy garden look.
Salvia (Salvia Nemorosa)
Salvia is a perennial herb with fragrant flowers and leaves that make excellent border plants in a beachy garden. As well as being drought tolerant, they are ideal plants for attracting bees and butterflies.
Salvias produce spikes of densely-packed flower heads. The common garden herb sage is a member of the salvia family, although less ornamental than its cousins. Salvias are excellent for the summer beach garden, providing stunning flowers and a beautiful scent.
Take cuttings of salvia in the early spring before flower buds have developed. You may have to treat your salvias as an annual as they are not frost-hardy.
Asters (Aster novae-angliae)
Don’t overlook the beautiful little aster if you’re looking for fall-blooming flowers for your coastal garden. Also known as the Michaelmas daisy, this plant blooms after most of your other flowers will have already begun fading.
Asters are perfect for rocky gardens borders and natural-looking beachy gardens. The New England and the New York aster are native to North America and are excellent flower choices.
Asters generally come in shades of bluish-purple, violet, and bright pink. They will do best in full sun areas, as growing them in the shade results in fewer flowers.
Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)
If you’re going for a more Mediterranean look with your beachy garden, don’t forget about beautifully scented lavender. With its fragrant leaves and beautiful deep violet flowers, this stunning herb blooms from July to August.
Lavender will grow very well in sandy soil and is perfect for a coastal garden. This aromatic plant will make your garden smell calm and relaxing. As well as providing soft grey-green foliage and purple flowers, once established, this perennial plant will be helpful in shading parts of your garden from the sun.
When choosing flowers for your beachy garden, first look at your soil conditions and the surrounding weather. By choosing mainly native plants, you will stand a better chance of a thriving coastal garden as the plants will be hardy and more likely to attract pollinators such as butterflies and bees. Look for flowers that are usually found along coastal areas to help your garden feel as beachy as possible.