a seaside garden with a wooden bench overlooking the sea

10 Inspiring Seaside Themed Garden Ideas

Are you longing to bring the serene beauty of the seaside onto your property? Look no further! We’ve gathered a collection of 10 inspiring seaside themed garden ideas that will transport you to the coastal bliss you desire. Whether you live near the shoreline or dream of capturing the coastal essence in a different location, these seaside garden ideas will inspire and guide you. So, roll up your sleeves, let your imagination run wild, and embark on a journey to create your seaside oasis. Let the gentle sound of crashing waves and the coastal breeze inspire you as you embark on a gardening adventure that brings the magic of the seaside to your doorstep. Get ready to transform your outdoor space into a coastal haven with these exquisite seaside themed garden ideas and create memories that will last a lifetime.

What Is A Coastal Garden?

A seaside or coastal garden is a landscaping style inspired by coastal areas’ natural beauty and relaxed atmosphere. These gardens aim to capture the essence of being by the sea, incorporating elements that reflect the coastal environment.

Seaside coastal garden designs involve coastal-inspired plants, colours, textures, and accessories. Also, they often feature a mix of native plants, dune grasses, and vibrant flowers that thrive in sandy or salty conditions. The goal is to create a garden that evokes a sense of tranquillity and reminds you of a peaceful day spent by the sea.

On the other hand, creating a seaside garden is special in coastal areas as it allows homeowners to seamlessly merge their outdoor spaces with the surrounding natural beauty. A coastal garden extends the captivating coastal landscape for those fortunate enough to live by the sea.

10 Seaside Themed Garden Ideas

sun loungers used in seaside themed garden ideas overlooking the ocean

Transforming your garden into a seaside retreat is a delightful way to infuse your outdoor space with coastal charm. Whether you live by the coast or simply dream of a beachside escape, these ten seaside themed garden ideas will help you create a coastal oasis in your yard. So, get ready to embark on a journey through these inspiring seaside themed garden ideas and discover how you can bring the serenity of the shoreline into your outdoor haven.

Use Locally Sourced Materials In Your Seaside Garden Ideas

When creating a seaside garden, incorporating locally sourced materials offers several benefits. Not only does it contribute to the authenticity of the coastal ambience, but it also ensures that your garden blends harmoniously with the surrounding environment. Using materials native to your area, you can create a sense of place and connect your garden to its coastal surroundings.

One example of locally sourced materials is weathered driftwood. You can use driftwood to craft unique garden features such as fences, trellises, or even artistic sculptures. The weathered texture and natural appeal of driftwood evoke a coastal feel and create a captivating focal point in your garden.

Another option is using local stones or pebbles to create pathways, borders, or decorative accents. Smooth, rounded pebbles in shades of white, grey, and earthy tones mimic the look of beach stones and add a touch of seaside charm. These materials enhance the visual appeal and provide a practical purpose in defining and organising different areas of your garden.

Furthermore, incorporating seashells and fragments into your garden design can evoke a strong coastal atmosphere. You can use them to create pathways, mosaic patterns, or even as decorative elements in planters. Their delicate beauty adds a touch of whimsy and reminds you of the treasures found along the seashore.

Go Foraging

seaside themed garden with a water feature

Exploring the beach for natural treasures and materials is an exciting way to add an authentic touch to your seaside coastal garden designs. Beach foraging allows you to discover unique items that embody the coastal spirit and infuse your outdoor space with their inherent beauty. Some of the distinctive treasures you could find on a beach include:

  • Seashells – Collect a variety of seashells in different shapes, sizes, and colours. You can use them as decorative accents in planters, pathways, or even as borders for garden beds.
  • Driftwood – Look for weathered pieces of driftwood that have washed ashore. Driftwood makes fantastic repurposed garden furniture, planters, or artistic sculptures, adding a rustic and natural charm to your seaside garden.
  • Sea Glass – Search for smooth, colourful fragments of sea glass worn by the waves. You can arrange these in patterns or use them to create mosaic designs, bringing a touch of elegance and shimmer to your garden.
  • Pebbles and Stones – Gather smooth pebbles and stones of various sizes. They make great borders for pathways, rock gardens, or decorative elements in water features, lending a sense of tranquillity and grounding to your coastal oasis.
  • Drifted Seaweed – You can use dried seaweed as a natural mulch for coastal plantings, nourishing and retaining moisture in the soil. It adds an organic element and a distinct seaside scent to your garden.
  • Beach Grass and Dune Plants – Consider digging up clumps of beach grass or dune plants with permission if local regulations permit. You can transplant these native coastal plants into your garden to create an authentic coastal landscape.

However, remember to be mindful of the environment and local regulations when foraging. Respect natural habitats and only collect materials that have already washed ashore. 

Plant Native Coastal Plants

With seaside themed garden ideas, opting for native coastal plants is always the best choice. Native plants have adapted to thrive in the specific environmental conditions of coastal areas, making them resilient and well-suited for your garden. Additionally, choosing coastal plants for your garden ensures that your planting scheme is resilient and biodiverse and contributes to erosion control – all benefits of using native coastal plants. 

Here are some great coastal plants native to the UK for you to consider for your seaside themed garden ideas:

  • Sea Thrift (Armeria Maritima) – A charming, low-growing perennial with tufts of grass-like foliage and delicate pink or white flowers. It thrives in sandy soils and is a popular choice for coastal gardens.
  • Sea Holly (Eryngium Maritimum) – Known for its striking blue or silvery spiky flowers, sea holly is a tough and drought-tolerant plant. Its unique appearance adds architectural interest to coastal gardens.
  • Sea Buckthorn (Hippophae Rhamnoides) – A hardy, deciduous shrub with silvery leaves and bright orange berries. It can tolerate salty conditions and helps stabilise sand dunes.
  • Marram Grass (Ammophila spp.) – This grass stabilises coastal sand dunes. Its extensive rhizomatous root system helps prevent erosion and provides a habitat for dune-dwelling organisms.

Read More: 12 UK Coastal Plants

Take Inspiration From Your Surroundings For Your Colour Scheme

turquoise chairs and brown gates styled in seaside themed garden ideas

Drawing inspiration from your surroundings is key to creating an authentic and harmonious space when designing a coastal garden. The colours of the coast can serve as a guide for selecting a suitable colour scheme that reflects the serene and refreshing atmosphere of the seaside. Here’s how you can take inspiration from the coast and choose the right colour scheme for your coastal garden, along with some examples of coastal garden colour schemes.

  • Observe the Natural Palette – Take a close look at the colours present in the coastal landscape. Notice the hues of the sand, water, sky, and surrounding vegetation. Coastal palettes often feature soft, muted tones like sandy beige, cool blues, serene greens, and hints of grey or white.
  • Reflect the Sea – Blue is a classic colour associated with the ocean. Consider incorporating shades of blue into your colour scheme, ranging from pale aqua and sky blue to deeper navy or indigo. You can use these shades on walls, furniture, or decorative elements to evoke a sense of calm and tranquillity.
  • Embrace Neutral Tones – Coastal gardens often feature neutral hues inspired by sandy beaches and weathered driftwood. You can use shades of beige, taupe, and warm greys for walls, paving, or furniture. These neutrals create a soothing backdrop and allow other elements in the garden to shine.
  • Pop of Vibrant Colours – Just like vibrant seashells or blooming flowers, a coastal garden can benefit from splashes of vibrant colours. Consider adding accents of coral, sunny yellows, or pops of coastal wildflowers to inject energy and visual interest into the space.
  • Harmonise with Greenery – The lush coastal vegetation inspires the incorporation of green tones into your garden colour scheme. Foliage, potted plants, or even painted garden structures are wonderful for providing shades of sage, seafoam, or deep emerald.

Naturally, harmonising colours just right can be tricky. So, here are some example coastal garden colour schemes that you can play with in your seaside themed garden ideas:

  • Serene Blues and Sandy Neutrals – Combine soft blues reminiscent of the sea with sandy beige or warm grey tones for a tranquil and timeless coastal palette.
  • Nautical Reds, Whites, and Blues – Embrace a classic nautical theme with a colour scheme featuring crisp whites, vibrant reds, and various shades of blue, resembling the colours of boats, buoys, and sailcloth.
  • Coastal Pastels – Create a dreamy and delicate ambience with pastel shades like pale pink, mint green, soft lavender, and light blue, mirroring the colours of seashells and beach sunsets.

Prepare For Sea Winds

The ferocity of coastal winds is an unfortunate characteristic of seaside areas, and it’s crucial to prepare your garden to withstand its strength. In the UK, sea winds can reach significant speeds. Along exposed coastlines, gusts can often exceed 20 miles per hour (32 kilometres per hour) during storms or periods of high wind activity. Therefore, it’s crucial to take appropriate measures to protect your garden from the potential impact of these powerful winds. However, with proper planning, you can create a resilient garden that thrives in the face of sea winds. Here’s how to prepare your garden for sea winds and ensure its durability:

  • Assess Wind Exposure – Determine the direction and strength of prevailing winds in your coastal location. This will help you identify the areas of your garden most exposed to the wind. Understanding wind patterns allows you to plan your garden layout and protect more vulnerable plants strategically.
  • Choose Wind-Resistant Plants – Selecting wind-resistant plants is vital for a coastal garden. Look for plants that have adapted to thrive in windy conditions, such as shrubs with flexible branches or grasses with sturdy stems. Native coastal plants often have natural adaptations to withstand strong winds.
  • Create Windbreaks – Install windbreaks to provide shelter and reduce the impact of sea winds on your garden. Fences, hedges, or walls can serve as effective windbreaks, redirecting or buffering the wind’s force. Opt for solid or dense materials that can withstand the wind and provide adequate protection.
  • Stabilise Structures – Ensure that garden structures, such as trellises, arbours, or pergolas, are securely anchored to withstand strong winds. Use sturdy materials and consider reinforcing connections to prevent damage or toppling.
  • Implement Wind-Tolerant Design – Choose low-profile or wind-resistant design elements in your garden. Avoid tall, delicate structures that are prone to wind damage. Opt for sturdy, compact plants and ground-hugging foliage to minimise wind resistance.

Incorporate Raised Beds Into Your Seaside Themed Garden Ideas

flowers growing in a seaside garden

Raised beds will be a valuable addition to gardeners looking for seaside themed garden ideas, offering several benefits that can enhance the productivity and resilience of your plants in the coastal environment. These elevated planting areas contain contained soil and are typically bordered by wood, stone, or other materials. 

One significant advantage of raised beds is improved drainage. Coastal areas often have sandy or fast-draining soils that struggle to retain moisture. Creating raised beds gives you more control over the soil composition and drainage, ensuring optimal growing conditions. In addition, amending the soil with organic matter helps improve moisture retention and creates a balanced environment for your plants.

Raised beds also offer the opportunity to create better soil quality. To enhance fertility and structure, you can customise the soil mix by incorporating organic matter, compost, and other nutrients. This promotes healthy root growth, nutrient uptake, and overall plant vitality, allowing your coastal garden to thrive.

By incorporating DIY raised beds into your coastal garden, you can optimise growing conditions, mitigate soil erosion, and create a visually appealing and productive space. These beds provide a practical and versatile solution for gardening in the coastal environment, allowing you to cultivate a wide range of plants and enjoy the rewards of a flourishing seaside garden.

Create Privacy and Resilience With Screening

Screening strategically uses fences or other structures to create privacy, block wind, or shield specific areas from view. Screening offers several benefits that can enhance your seaside themed garden ideas’ functionality and aesthetics.

One of the primary advantages of screening in a coastal garden is privacy. By installing fences or other screening structures, you can create secluded areas to relax and enjoy your garden without feeling exposed to passersby or neighbouring properties. Screening also helps block wind, which is especially valuable in coastal regions known for their strong sea breezes. Moreover, you can visually enhance your garden with screening elements. For example, you could create focal points, define specific areas, or add architectural interest to the overall design.

Some great screening suggestions for your seaside themed garden ideas include:

  • Wooden Fences – Classic wooden fences provide a timeless and natural look. Opt for durable wood species that can withstand the coastal environment, such as cedar or pressure-treated lumber. And make sure they fit your garden’s colour scheme by choosing the best garden fence colours!
  • Bamboo Screens – Bamboo screens offer a tropical and eco-friendly option for coastal gardens. They provide privacy while allowing air to circulate, making them suitable for wind-prone areas.
  • Lattice Panels – Lattice panels are versatile and visually appealing. They can be used as stand-alone screens or incorporated into existing fences or structures. Lattice allows light and air to pass through while offering partial privacy.
  • Living Screens – Utilise plants such as tall grasses, climbing vines, or dense shrubs to create living screens. These green screens provide privacy, add beauty, and contribute to the coastal aesthetic.
  • Pergolas or Trellises – Install pergolas or trellises with climbing plants to create a living screen that offers both privacy and shade. This option adds vertical interest and personal style. 

Start A Mini Rock Garden

a mini rock garden in a coastal garden

A rock garden is a landscaping feature that incorporates carefully arranged rocks, stones, and low-maintenance plants to create a visually appealing and naturalistic display. In a seaside garden, a rock garden can be an excellent addition due to its compatibility with the coastal landscape and its ability to withstand challenging coastal conditions. 

To incorporate a mini rock garden in your seaside themed garden ideas, follow these steps:

  • Choose the Right Location – Identify a suitable location in your garden that receives ample sunlight and has good drainage. Avoid areas that are prone to water accumulation or strong winds that could dislodge the rocks.
  • Select Appropriate Rocks – Opt for rocks that are indigenous to coastal areas or have a naturally weathered appearance. Coastal regions often feature granite, limestone, or sandstone, which are durable and can withstand the coastal elements.
  • Plan the Layout – Visualise the desired layout and arrangement of rocks before placing them in your garden. Consider incorporating varying sizes, shapes, and textures to create visual interest and mimic the natural rock formations found along the coast.
  • Prepare the Soil – Prepare the soil by removing any existing vegetation or weeds. Then, amend the soil with a well-draining mixture suitable for rock garden plants. Sandy or gravelly soils are often ideal for supporting rock garden plantings.
  • Select Rock Garden Plants – Choose plants that are well-suited to a coastal environment and can thrive in rocky or sandy soils. Examples of suitable rock garden plants for coastal areas include sea thrift (Armeria Maritima), beach grasses (Ammophila spp.), and coastal daisies (Erigeron glaucus).
  • Add Finishing Touches – Consider incorporating additional elements like driftwood, seashells, or maritime-themed ornaments to enhance the coastal ambience of your rock garden.

Plan Your Seating With The Best View

If you’re blessed with a seaside garden that sits beside the coast, you should definitely make the most of that view! So, why not plan your seating area so it looks out over the bay? First, look for a spot that offers a clear and uninterrupted view of the beach and coast. For example, this could be a patio area, a deck, or even a designated area on the lawn. Then, position your seats to face the direction of the view, ensuring that those seated can fully appreciate the beauty of the coastal landscape.

Avoid placing tall or dense vegetation directly in front of the seating area to maximise the line of sight. Instead, choose low-growing plants or create open spaces that frame the view. Consider utilising elevated platforms or terraces if your garden has varying elevations. This can provide a higher vantage point, allowing for a more expansive and breathtaking view of the beach and coast.

While enjoying the view is paramount, don’t forget about comfort and protection. Select comfortable outdoor furniture that encourages relaxation and enjoyment of the scenery. Cushioned seating, loungers, or even hammocks can provide a cosy place to sit back and soak in the coastal beauty. Incorporate shade options such as umbrellas, pergolas, or retractable awnings to shield you and your guests from direct sunlight and provide relief on hot days. This way, you can appreciate the view without compromising comfort.

 Keep It Low Maintenance

When it comes down to it, the coast is a natural, undisturbed area. So, you should keep your seaside-themed garden ideas as natural and low maintenance as possible. Embracing a low-maintenance approach in your seaside garden not only aligns with the coastal environment’s inherent simplicity but also allows you to spend more time enjoying your garden rather than constantly tending to its upkeep.

To keep your seaside themed garden ideas low maintenance, you can:

  • Opt for low-maintenance, resilient plants
  • Reduce watering requirements with drought-tolerant plants
  • Limit traditional expansive lawns
  • Embrace natural landscaping
  • Run an environmentally friendly garden
  • Create a regular maintenance schedule

Put Our Seaside Themed Garden Ideas To Good Use

Designing a seaside garden offers a wonderful opportunity to infuse your outdoor space with the beauty and tranquillity of the coast. By incorporating the ten seaside themed garden ideas presented in this article, you can create a captivating sanctuary that reflects the charm and serenity of the seaside. So, whether you live near the seaside or desire a coastal retreat in your own backyard, these seaside themed garden ideas provide a wealth of inspiration to transform your outdoor space into a coastal oasis. So, let the calming influence of the coast guide you as you embark on this creative journey, and savour the joy and tranquillity that your seaside-themed garden will bring.

FAQs

How Do I Make My Garden Look Like The Beach?

To transform your garden into a beach-inspired paradise, there are several key elements you can incorporate, including:

Choose a colour palette that reflects the coastal environment.
Integrate sand or gravel in specific areas to mimic the texture and appearance of a beach.
Consider adding water features like a small pond or fountain to evoke the soothing sound and sight of ocean waves.
Enhance the beach theme with beach-inspired decors, such as seashells, driftwood, and nautical ropes. 
Select coastal flora like ornamental grasses, succulents, and flowering plants such as lavender or sea holly to complete the beach-like ambience.

What Are The Features Of A Coastal Garden?

The features of a coastal garden typically encompass elements that reflect the natural beauty and characteristics of coastal environments. Here are some key features:
Native Coastal Plants
Driftwood and Seashells
Water Features
Sand or Gravel Areas
Nautical or Coastal Decor
Wind-Resistant Plantings
Low Maintenance Design

Resources

Offshore Energy SEA 3: Appendix 1 Environmental Baseline 541 Appendix 1F: Climate & Meteorology A1f.1 Introduction. (n.d.). Available at: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/504559/OESEA3_A1f_Climate___Meteorology.pdf.

www.rhs.org.uk. (n.d.). Coastal gardens. [online] Available at: https://www.rhs.org.uk/garden-inspiration/garden-types/coastal-gardens [Accessed 19 May 2023].

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *