The Q&A Archives: Oceanfront Gardening and Landscaping

Question: Hi, I just bought waterfront property on the south shore of Long Island. This is our first home and I want to make it look outstanding and breathtaking. I cannot seem to find anything on gardening oceanfront property.

Answer: I haven't been able to find catalogs that fit this niche, either, but I have some ideas for you to start with. Contact the North American Sea Plant Society, Inc., for information on native plants and soil preparation. Address: PO Box 262, Feeding Hills, MA 01030-0262, e-mail
They'll also be able to caution you against growing invasive and non-native species that may become weeds.

There are quite a number of plants that will grow well on the sandy, salty shore, given the right foundation. First, you need to establish hardy perennials that will hold the soil in place and tough out the conditions: achillea, artemesia, chrysopsis, coreopsis, euphorbias, daylilies, kniphofia, santolina, sedum, tanacetum, yucca; ornamental grasses (Elymus glaucus, Uniola paniculata, and Ammophila); shrubs (American holly, amelanchier, eastern cedar); annuals to fill in the spaces in summer (calendula, moss rose, cornflowers, marigolds, verbena). This is just a partial listing of plants from The American Horticultural Society's Flower Finder, by Jaqueline Heriteau (ISBN# 0-671-72345-6). You may find it in your library or local bookstore. I also recommend that you get as much free advice from landscapers as you can, and it may be worthwhile hiring someone to do the groundwork correctly.

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