Real World Gardener Tropical Look for Coastal Gardens in Design Elements

April 28th, 2016

REAL WORLD GARDENER Wed. 5pm 2RRR 88.5fm Sydney, streaming live at  and Across Australia on the Community Radio Network.

The complete CRN edition of RWG is available on , just click on 2RRR to find this week’s edition.



Coastal Garden photo Peter Nixon

Tropical gardens seem to fit, hand in glove in coastal areas, because when we think of the beach, we might like to imagine that we’re in an exotic location with the lushness of a tropical oasis.

Think big leaves, colourful foliage and lots of flowers.

Let’s find out how to create this near the coast…I'm talking with Louise McDaid, Garden Designer.

Paradisus photo Peter Nixon

Coastal gardens are affected by salt laden winds and sandy, nutrient poor soils so it's not necessarily easy to get them to work. Salt laden winds cause leaf burn on plants.

So, it’s important to remember that windbreaks, either planted or built form, and creating microclimates will help establish large leaved plants that might not thrive or do that well to start off with, but with a bit of planning.

Windbreak plants suggestions: Acacia, Lagunaria patersonii or Norfolk Island Hibiscus, Sheoaks or Casuarinas, Callistemons or bottlebrush,Vitex and Metrosideros or NZ Christmas bush.

 I’m sure you can get that tropical look for your coastal garden.

Close planting is the key, and layering with different plants at different levels or plants of different heights.

If you have any questions about creating tropical gardens drop us a line to

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