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Coastal Landscape Design

Like most creative fields, landscape architecture and design have varying styles. Most people are drawn to a particular one, while some base it purely off the architecture of their home. However, garden design is special in the way that the plants really set the tone of the design. The details and everything in between is secondary. An example would be a Balinese style garden planted out with cactus and succulents, it just wouldn’t feel right. Rather, you would expect to see lush, tropical planting with bold, vibrant colours and foliage.

If however, you are aiming to achieve a true formal garden with your hedges pruned to perfection and your symmetry on point then follow along as over the next several blogs I will be offering insight into what goes into a landscape design to make it true to it’s style. To start us off, we will be discussing Coastal as a style.

Among all the design styles, Coastal gardens are shamelessly the most relaxed. Embracing a natural and organic flow, their designs are often so simple they seamlessly blend into their surroundings. Subtle and understated plants create movement with their textures and soft hues, inviting that carefree and laid-back feel into your home. One can’t help but feel comfortable in this serene space. Achieving this style of garden requires particular elements and an application that says they were effortlessly placed here.


Gentle, biomorphic curves allow you to casually stroll through the garden, creating that relaxed and calming feel. Avoid harsh, formal lines and instead incorporate a natural flow that curves through your design. Generous, open spaces as well as protected seated areas should be incorporated throughout the garden to create areas to relax.


Selecting plants with movement and texture are important. Drought-tolerant, hardy plants are popular in coastal gardens and with a nod to their natural environment, the gardens are often left to grow organically, meaning they are low maintenance. Planting on mass, such as coastal grasses (Poa labillardieri) create impact and interest through movement. Playfully combine succulents and shrubs with strappy plants and architectural trees for focal points. Australian natives such as Westringia or Correa alba, tie in perfectly with their dusty blues and muted hues.


Organic elements are what tie together the coastal theme. Incorporate sandstone blocks and weathered timber as decking, seating or steps. Placed naturally and combined with sand or gravel as a mulch, it gives the design an earthy feel.


Colours are reflective and sympathetic to their surroundings. Soft browns, dusty blues, greys and muted pinks, the colours are found in the foliage and materials. They are not loud, excitable colours, but rather relaxing and soothing.

Combine these elements and you can create a Coastal landscape retreat of your own. If you have selected suitable plants and the right materials, you will be spending more time relaxing and less time maintaining, as the coastal garden is designed to weather and age naturally.

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