Drawing Inspiration From Vacation: A Coastal-Themed Garden

Many successful designers find inspiration beyond the garden. Theme gardens, like this coastal one, help show off your unique vision.

Excerpted from Garden Design
Well Placed Nautical Accessories Brighten Corner DK - Garden Design © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Coastal Accessories

Evoke a seaside theme by including a few small nautical accessories that will blend in with your planting plan. Limit the number to achieve a clean design and avoid a messy, cliched look.

Recreate Coastal Shallow Soil with Gravel Borders DK - Garden Design © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Seaside Planting Sources

Recreate coastal shallow soils and drought conditions - for example, with gravel borders - to mimic plants' native environments.

Beach Effects Lend Natural Look to Seaside Garden DK - Garden Design © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Beach Effects

Tall, spiky agaves mingle with low-growing sea thrifts and dark drifts of houseleeks. Crunchy gravel and a wooden deck complete the natural effect.

Colorful Deck Chairs Create Coherent Look DK - Garden Design © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Seaside Furniture and Vacation Keepsakes

Choose outdoor furniture that picks up on a color or texture from elsewhere in the garden, and incorporate authentic items brought home from your vacation. But decorate sparsely enough to preserve spots for entertaining and relaxating.

Colorful Out Buildings Mimic Seaside Beach Huts DK - Garden Design © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Garden Storage

Paint outdoor storage in bright colors that mimic beach huts, ice cream and other beachside staples. Use them to hide garden tools and and lawn care equipment.

Play Area Mimics Sandy Beach Play Area for Kids DK - Garden Design © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Play Areas for Kids

An area with sand and water can continue your seaside theme and give your children a special place to play. Parents of young kids may prefer to install just a sand box, to avoide the potential danger of open water. Or, if sand's too messy, substitute small pebbles to make your \"beach\".

Allocate Space for Swing if Space Permits DK - Garden Design © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Swinging Idea

Invite your innner child to your coastal oasis: Make a hand-made swing! Use recycled, hardwearing rope and driftwood for the seat, and install it over bark chips.

Excerpted from Garden Design

©Dorling Kindersley Limited 2009

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