Perennials for the Beach

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Transforming your barren, coastal home landscape into a seaside oasis can be an impossible task to imagine undertaking.  The constant challenges of poor, sandy soil, shifting dunes, glaring sun, strong winds, and salt spray could be enough for many to throw in the towel.  Paying attention to the microclimates around your coastal nook can help to create the perfect perennial garden.  The plants in the following list are adapted to survive in well-draining, droughty soils, but it is always wise to improve the soil with healthy topsoil and compost, as well as using additional drip irrigation while the plants are getting established.  Mulching the garden with compost, seaweed, or other organic material will seal the soil against moisture loss, erosion and continue to improve your garden’s bloom.  These plants will benefit being in a position sheltered from the wind, such as a nearby fence, wall hedgerow, or the leeward side of a sand dune.  A combination of smart garden techniques and sturdy perennials that thrive in tough seaside conditions allows you to garden against all odds in the surf and spray of America’s coastal villages.

 

Achillea tomemtosa – Yarrow

 

Alcea – Hollyhock

 

Allium schnittlauch – Ornamental onion

 

Anthemis kelawayi – Golden Marquerite

 

Armeria maritime – Sea Thrift

 

Atemesia schmidtiana – Silvermound

 

Aster spp. – Asters

 

Bergenia cordifolia – Heart-leaf Bergenia

 

Centaurea – Bachelor Buttons

 

Chrysanthemum. Pacificum – Silver-edged Chrysanthemum

 

Dianthus species – Dianthus

 

Echinops ritro – Globe Thistle

 

Erigeron spp. – Fleabane Daisy

 

Eryngium spp. – Sea Holly

 

Euphorbia spp. – Cushion Spurge

 

Gaillardia spp. – Blanketflower

 

Gypsophilia spp. – Baby’s Breath

 

Hemerocallis – Daylilies

 

Heuchera sanq. – Coral bells

 

Iris germanica – Bearded Iris

 

Iris diberica – Siberian Iris

 

Kniphofia hybrids – Red Hot Poker

 

Limonium spp. – Statice

 

Linum spp. – Flax

 

Oenothera spp. – Evening Primrose

 

Oputunia spp. – Prickly Pear

 

Penstemon spp. – Bearded Tongue

 

Perovskia atriplicifolia – Russian Sage

 

Potentilla spp. – Cinquefoil

 

Rudbeckia spp. – Black-eyed Susan

 

Sedum spp. – Stonecrop

 

Sempervivium – Hen’s and Chicks

 

Stachys spp. – Lamb’s Ear

 

Veronica spp. – Veronica

 

Elymus glaucus – Blue Dune Grass

 

Cortaderia – Pampass Grass

 

Penniseteum spp. – Fountain Grass

 

Panicum virgatum – Switch Grass