The Coastal Inspired Garden

Here at Llevelo, we're passionate about creating calming spaces and wellbeing gardens. When one client in Colchester, Essex, asked us to design a coastal inspired garden, we knew this had to be a garden that would conjure up images of the sea (without the salt laden look) and be a calming tranquil space.

A few simple design tips and tricks can transform any space. Here we show you how we gave this small urban garden a touch of coastal life.

Orb in a coastal garden

Features of the Coastal Garden

The coast can be a wild and rugged place and yet full of natural beauty. Our Coastal garden was inspired by this of course and we included plenty of textural detailing using a range of hard landscaping products.

The overall layout focused on using soft curves. Strong geometry should be distinctly absent and instead, lines should focus on flowing harmoniously throughout the garden.

The timber orb in the image sits on sandstone pebbles which are edged with charred timber setts (which we're a little bit in love with!).

Coastal Garden path with water feature

The orb will eventually 'silver' (change colour to become a light grey or 'silver'!) and tie in with the upright timber plinths in the background which are a nod to pier supports. The brilliant white of the pots helps keep things looking bright: classic seaside!

We would normally have included a gravel garden element but part of the brief was to keep maintenance to an absolute minimum. With this in mind, we opted for a resin-bound gravel in this coastal garden.

We also set these lovely wood impression porcelain planks into the gravel. This resulted in a heady mix of timber and stone in a textural dream.

Of course, no coastal garden would be complete without a water feature! This Water fountain in turquoise blue was the perfect addition. Centred in the garden so as to be audible from all areas, the colour also provides an energetic focal point amidst the cooler palette of planting.

Architectural Planting in the Coastal Garden

To withstand the salty air, most coastal plants are finer leafed and simultaneously more architectural in nature. With this in mind, we included five Trachycarpus fortunei as the statement structural plants. These small trees are a great way to introduce interest through height.

Repeating the planting is a secret design trick to ensure the overall garden has continuity and balance.

Coastal plants tend to be more drought tolerant on account of the windier conditions. Plants such as Pinus mugo 'Mops' or the 'Dwarf Mountain Pine' were also repeated throughout the scheme. A mature Buddleja was retained and further cool coloured flowering plants such as Nepeta and Verbena bonariensis 'Lollipop' were introduced. This mix of silvers, purples and blues is very reminiscent of a coastal garden. While the Verbena will eventually seed around creating the ultimate naturalised look.

To soften the boundary, Trachelospermum jasminoides has been planted against the fence. This should eventually complete conceal it helping to transport the garden to a beach far far away!

What the client had to say:

I would highly recommend Penelope of Llevelo Design. From the initial concept to completion her work was professional & always responded promptly to all queries. She interpreted my ideas perfectly & produced a design which has resulted in a small but beautiful & peaceful sanctuary for myself & the wildlife.

If you'd like some design assistance in creating your own calming garden be that a coastal garden, wellbeing garden or other, the get in touch below!