Garden styles

© Bacchus Palms 2016

Beach Gardens


Nothing could be more typical of New Zealand than a seaside bach.  To create the perfect beach garden you’re going to need tough plants that can withstand salt-spray, wind, sun, drought and whatever else nature throws at them.


Of course one can’t consider a beach garden without several native cabbage trees and flaxes.  Look for unusual varieties (wider leaves and better colouring) for a more attractive planting.  A full size or smaller hybrid Metrosideros (NZ Christmas tree) is practically compulsory as are tough grasses.  Here you can’t beat some of the more colourful Pampas grasses.


For a more exotic look add some of the larger Aloes and Agaves along with the odd Dracaena or Yucca.  A beach garden being much like their arid origins they’ll thrive here along with the Ponytail palm (Beaucarnea recurvata).  A good planting of Mesembryanthemum will add colour between the plantings and in less windy spots plant hibiscus bushes for colour.


For palm trees you’ll want species that can tolerate the elements so consider a Kentia or two (Howea forsteriana), a Jelly palm (Butia capitata), Mediterranean Fan palms (Chamaerops humilis) and a blue-grey date palm (Phoenix dactylifera).  The clustering Senegal date palm (Phoenix reclinata) is also rather tough and with age becomes a striking feature plant.


Less common but worthy of note due to its tough grey leaves is the Palmetto palm; either the trunking Sabal palmetto or the dwarf Sabal minor.


In areas without excessive salt-spray you might wish to try Washingtonia robusta or the Australian fan palms (Livistona australis and L. decipiens).


Finally, a Cardboard ‘Fern’ (Zamia furfuracea) is perfectly suited to beach conditions.