Oh, I do like to be in a seaside garden!

I was born and grew up beside the sea in East Yorkshire. Although I have washed up here in Bedfordshire about as far away from the sea as I could be, I have a strong desire to return to live beside the sea eventually.

Creating a garden beside the sea is also a long held dream though not the easiest of design projects to undertake. Strong, salt-laden winds can burn tender foliage. Planting a windbreak and choosing the right plants within its shelter will be very important factors in the design of a seaside garden. Last summer I visited a stunning contemporary garden right on the estuary of the river Exe which has turned this challenge into a work of art. It is called The lookout and is the work of Jackie Michelmore and can be visited in June each year as part of the National Garden Scheme www.ngs.org 

If you are looking for inspiration then this garden has it in bucket and spadefuls!DSC_0044DSC_0048The style is very informal with beach combing finds mixed in amongst naturalistic borders. shelter was created by planting hundreds of native trees and shrubs.DSC_0036

DSC_0060The site used to be a 1920’s mussel purifying station and the walls have been used to create a beautiful mediterranean-style courtyard around the swimming pool with an outdoor kitchen for summer BBQ’s. The planting palette is textural rather then bright with lots of grasses and leaves with interesting shapes and textures. This means that the stunning position overlooking the estuary is enhanced by the garden rather than the planting serving as a distraction.

DSC_0050There is a beautiful wildflower meadow too with winding paths leading to a far-reaching view down the estuary to the sea.DSC_0053I now have a base in East Devon myself and make regular visits, developing the west country branch of Outerspaces Garden Design.

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4 thoughts on “Oh, I do like to be in a seaside garden!

  1. Beautiful soft planting Julie. That gives me some inspiration for the ‘seaside’ garden that I am designing at the moment.

  2. Hi Julie
    Really chuffed to come across our garden, The Lookout, featured in your blog today and have enjoyed reading about the other gardens you have visited.
    Very impressed with your website and portfolio of work. One day …perhaps!! Designing gardens on a smaller scale here in lovely East Devon but when the children have flown the nest who knows!
    If you make it to our Open Garden again please introduce yourself as it would be lovely to meet you. (open on 6th & 8th June in 2014 if you/ your blog followers are interested)
    Best wishes Jackie Michelmore

    1. Hi Jackie
      Just dusting off my blog after 2 years of neglect and found your kind comments. A very belated thank you and although I didn’t manage to make the 2014 opening please let me, and anyone else reading this, know dates of 2015 opening.It is an inspirational garden. Julie.

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