You can grow lots of different kinds of flowers in every garden but not all of them are suitable for a coastal garden. This Flower Gardening Guide will help you choose easy perennial plants with lots of color for your seaside garden.
Some types of perennials cope very well with seaside conditions and are so easy to grow. You will find lots of flower gardening tips here as well.
Perennial flowers a lot of seasonal interest to the garden. Their flowers add color during the season and the foliage enriches the garden with different textures and shapes.
There are many different kinds of flowers available that are suitable for every situation you may have in your garden. It is a matter of making the right choice for your situation.
Many people are confused by the term perennial. Most non-gardeners think of them as 'flowers'. A gardener though makes a difference between annual garden plants and perennial plants.
Annuals are usually only grown for one season and die off during autumn or winter. Famous examples of annuals are Geraniums or Petunias. Most annual flowers die because they are not frost-hardy and don't survive low temperatures. In their native habitat, they often are perennial.
A perennial flower instead lives from year to year. Most of these plants go dormant and die back for the winter months. Some keep some leaves and others lose all the foliage. They store their energy in the roots, tubers or bulbs for the next season and start growing again in the spring. They are also called herbaceous plants. Popular perennials include Carnations, Phlox or Dahlias
A lot of perennials make great plants for seaside gardens. The main reason for this might be that those kinds of flowers die back for the winter. They are dormant when wind and gales are at their worst. The following list of perennials do well in coastal gardens:
Agapanthus - African Lily
Alstroemeria - Peruvian Lily
Anemone - Japanese Anemone
Crocosmia - Montbretia
Leucanthemum - Shasta Daisy
Dianthus - Carnations and Pinks
Dierama - Angel's Fishing Rod
Geranium var. - Hardy Geranium
Hemerocallis - Daylily
Kniphofias - Red Hot Pokers
Schitzostylis coccinea - Kaffir Lily
Watsonia (not frost hardy)
Zantedeschia aethiopica - Calla Lily
These are important factors for choosing plants. I see a lot of people choosing plants because they like the flowers! It is, of course, important that you like the color and the flowers. It is more important though that you give the plants the right conditions to thrive! All plants originate out of a specific habitat and are adapted to certain conditions. The closer you get to those conditions the better the plant will thrive.
A plant that originates from a swamp won't thrive on a dry, hot bank. Equally a perennial that is adapted to sun won't thrive and flower well in the shade of a house.
Most perennials need amazingly little care. Of course, you have to make sure that they are not covered in weeds that will compete with them for light, nutrients, water, and space.
Regular dead-heading will promote more flowers and lengthens the flowering period. If you let the plant set seeds it will think that it has fulfilled its biological purpose and will stop to produce flowers.
Most types of perennials will benefit from a general purpose fertilizer in the spring and again during the growing season. I prefer to use an organic fertilizer like poultry manure or fish blood and bone fertilizer for this.
Once the plants have died back in late autumn it is time to cut off the dead stems and old flower heads. If you like you can also do this in the spring. The old flowers heads can look very decorative particularly when they are covered in frost!
Most kinds of flowers benefit from being split every few years. Dividing perennials keeps them vigorous and healthy. The best time to split perennial flowers is early spring for most of them. This is best done with a sharp spade. Dig up the complete root ball and divide it into several pieces. Replant them with some compost and fertilizer. Don't forget to water them in well.