If you live or own a vacation home on the Texas Gulf Coast, you know you live in one of the most beautiful places on earth. That being said, you may want to make your home even more beautiful by creating a garden by the sea. Seaside gardening can be difficult, due to the salty air, the strong winds, and the Gulf climate in general. But just follow these tips and you’ll be on the (garden) path to success.
Location. The further away from the Texas Coast you can plant your garden, the easier it will be to create and maintain it. Distance will protect your garden from the winds and salt spray of the Gulf. It will also determine how sandy your soil is.
Soil. If your Texas garden is far enough away from the salt spray of the Gulf, you will probably only need to add manure and clay loam to your soil. You should also have the pH of your soil tested, to determine if it is acidic or alkaline. A soil test will also help you discover how much salt your garden has (the saltier it is, the more important it is to plant salt-tolerant plants).
Borders. Borders, created from shrubs and trees as well as wood or rock, are helpful to protect your garden and your newly perfected garden soil. A raised bed can also help your Texas Gulf Coast flowers to thrive. Trees and shrubs will protect your plants from salt spray, as well as the strong winds that are found in the Texas Gulf Coast area.
Flowers for your Gulf Coast garden
Impatiens. Impatiens do very well in Gulf Coast gardens, seeming not to mind the saltiness of the air or the stronger winds. That being said, the more you protect these flowers, the better they will bloom. Plant them in either the spring or the summer and they will bloom from April all the way through November in your Texas Gulf Coast garden. They do best when planted in full to partial shade, and can be used as groundcover or be planted in containers.
Painted Nettle Coleus. Coleus is a very hardy choice for your Gulf Coast garden. They have small light blue flowers that will attract butterflies, and their gorgeous bronze, orange and red leaves are sure to brighten up your Texas Gulf Coast garden. Plant them in full sun to partial shade, and they will bloom from late spring through early summer in your Gulf Coast garden. They do well in containers, and are also a great accent plant.
Shrubs for your Gulf Coast garden
Copper Plant. Also known as Jacob’s Coat, this is a gorgeous shrub to use for your Gulf Coast garden. They have red, copper, and green leaves, as well as some that are a mixture of these colors. Plant them in the spring in full sun or partial shade in your Texas Gulf Coast garden, where you can use them as part of your border. This shrub also does well in a container. It can reach heights of up to six feet.
Black Dragon Hibiscus. This beautiful shrub attracts both butterflies and hummingbirds. Its violet and burgundy flowers, touched with white, can be up to nine inches across. This shrub will bloom during the summer in your Texas Gulf Coast garden, and does best when planted in February or March in full to partial shade. It also does well in a container.
Southern Wax Myrtle. A good choice for your Gulf Coast garden if you are looking for taller shrubs, as these can grow to be about fifteen feet in height. It has gray berries that will attract birds to your Texas Gulf Coast garden, as well as yellow flowers and leaves with a pretty scent. This is a very hardy plant, and it can be used in a hedge or even as a privacy screen. Plant it in the fall or spring in either sun or shade. This is a Texas native.
The River Oaks Garden Club