6 years ago we had a rare opportunity to design & build a seashore garden on the South Coast at Bosham where the sea literally laps around the garden walls at high tide. 

A contemporary building built in traditional local materials was our cue for an uncomplicated minimal garden design in reclaimed stone, handmade bricks & hardwood decking to which we added a large rectangular lawn.

A simple planting palette creates privacy & shelter without the loss of open skies & expansive views of sea & countryside.

In engineering terms the house was built to withstand the sea.  So too the choice of plants was restricted to those that could cope with salt spray & salt laden winds. We looked at what survived locally & how the building could afford protection.

Revisiting the garden this year the timbers have silvered & brick & stone mellowed. Plants have thrived & in some cases have needed quite regular pruning.

On the seaward side the Tamarisk (Tamarix tetranda) & Elaeagnus x ebbingei have taken the full force of the sea winds right up to the waters’ edge.  Brachyglottis ‘Dormouse’ (formerly Senecio), our favourite Fuchsia magellanica & Olearia haastii grow amongst them.

Beyond the shelter of the house Griselinia littoralis hedges have grown tall & strong as have looser hedges of Cotonaester Cornubia & Rosmarinus officinalis. Rowan or Mountain Ash (Sorbus aucuparia) have slowly come into their own, within the protection of the Griselinia hedge. 

Outside the property the red brick & knapped flint walls have been softened by a seaside hedgerow including sea buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides) with  blackthorn or sloe (Prunus spinosa) along with dog rose, hawthorn & honeysuckle. Wild flowers have colonised from the nearby salt meadow.

Tamarisk