For most plants, the sandy soil of the coast lacks essential nutrients. Pack your garden with these hardy, coastal picks that can survive and thrive in a seaside environment.
Photo: Lynn Karlin
For most plants, the hardest spot is on the beach, washed by waves and open to the elements. Here, your best bets are salt-tolerant natives from your area that feature adaptations like fuzzy, gray, or shiny foliage, which can shed or trap the ocean spray. Farther inshore, where tides don't reach and winds are gentler, your choices widen to include coastal natives from other locales.
What works for you will depend on where you live, so shop for plants at a local coastal nursery, where you can get growing tips specific to your climate. In any region, shore up your garden by planting hedges to block ocean breezes, and amend sandy soil with organic compost.
Raised beds (left), filled with lady's-mantle, Russian sage, chives, and anise hyssop, help control soil quality.