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Plants for Exposed Coastal Sites

If you live near the coast or have an exposed garden then strong winds, dryness and salt spray can be a problem. Below is a list of plants suitable for exposed coastal locations.

Did you know that many plants that are adapted to strong sunlight and heat often have a silver or bluish tinge to them? Plants need to minimise water loss in these conditions so look out for silvery leaves as these will reflect the sunlight away from the plant so it will lose less water through evaporation. Waxy leaved evergreens are often able to cope with exposed coastal positions. Plants with thick, fleshy leaves which store water like Sedum or Sempervivum or thin needle like leaves like Rosemary or Lavender help to conserve water enabling the plant to cope when exposed to dry winds. Glossy or hairy leaves also do well in exposed or coastal areas.

Some plants are ideal in exposed coastal positions because they are flexible in the wind or can be pruned back hard in the spring. Plants that originate from coastal environments (e.g New Zealand) are able to cope with coastal or exposed positions in the UK.

Trees

Acer pseudoplatanus (Maple)
Arbutus unedo (Strawberry tree)
Eucalyptus globulus
Eucalyptus gunnii
Fraxinus excelsior (Ash)
Ilex aquifolium (Holly)
Laurus nobilis (Bay)
Salix alba (willow)
Sorbus aria ‘Lutescens’

Conifers

X Cupressocyparis Leylandii
Cupressus macrocarpa
Pinus nigra var.nigra

Shrubs

Elaeagnus pungens ‘Maculata’
Excall nia rubra var macrantha ‘Crimson Spire’
Euphorbia characia subsp. Wulfenii
Hebe x franciscana ‘Blue gem’
Hibiscus syracius
Hippophae rhamnoides
Lavandula ‘Hidcote’
Rosmarinus officinalis
Senecia ‘Sunshine’
Tamarix pentandra
Viburnham tinus

Climbers

Hedera canariensis
Tropaeolum tuberosum ‘Ken Aslet’
Wisteria sinensis

Perennials

Artemisia absinthium ‘Lambrook Silver’
Echinacea pupurea
Erigeron ‘Charity’
Eryngium variifolium
Euphorbia griffithii ‘Fireglow’
Geranium sanguineum
Irises

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