The Q&A Archives: Sea Side Plants

Question: I have built a planting bed behind a wooden retaining wall that is 250' X 8'. I would like help in laying out a plan that will stand up at the seaside and also something that deer and rabbits won't necessarily devour.

Answer: Seaside gardens offer a special challenge and the precise microclimate conditions in your garden will further affect the plant pallette available to you. Some plants you might consider depending on the conditions you have to offer include junipers, inkberry holly, beach pea, bayberry, prickly pear cactus, beach plum, sumac, Virginia rose, and yucca. For very specific localized advice, you might want to contact your local County Extension (727-7850) for suggestions.

With regard to deer and rabbit resistant plants, the answer is a tough one. Deer will eat nearly any plant once they have "discovered" it so one approach is to ask in the neighborhood and see what has made the menu so far in your local area. To be honest, in my experience, the only truly secure solution is a fence. Rabbits can also be excluded by fencing.

Good luck with your plantings!

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