Planting Problem Areas - A windy and salty slope in a South Hams coastal garden, Devon

The bed featured on this page is one of many in a planting design project for a client in the South Hams and is the kind of commission of which garden designers and planting designers, dream. As you can see from the photo below the location is spectacular. Unfortunately, with the view comes the prevailing westerly winds that blow along the South Devon coast and the salt they carry.

The bed featured is to one side of the path leading to the front door. It is therefore very important, like all front garden designs, that it creates a favourable first impression on visitors and welcomes the client home everyday. Apart from being presentable at all times of the year, its design has to be able to lift the spirits even in the depths of winter.

In some parts of this bed the soil is only four centimetres deep over rock. The slope is around 45 degrees and while the top of the bed is usually in full sun the bottom of the slope is in shade. It is therefore very dry at the top of the slope and sometimes extremely damp at the bottom.

The planting plan had to cope with all these dificulties at the same time as reflecting the client's desire for as much colour and interest as possible throughout the year.

Left - A page link to yet another difficult planting bed in this garden.

A beatiful view but exposed to the wind and the salt it carries
The bed by the front door. 45 degrees and thin layer of soil over rock

Before - The bed by the front door

After - The same bed redesigned and replanted just three months later

The same bed a few months later
Before - The main planting bed leading to the front door.

Before - Towards the front door from the drive above

After - The lavender will take a while before it covers the thin layer of soil over the drive's concrete haunches. A tip - make haunches as vertical possible.

After - Even during a difficult, dry spring the plants have thrived