Have you ever fantasised about opening your back door and stepping out into your very own private beach? If this is not geographically possible, how about creating a beach-themed garden?

If the thought of a ‘themed’ garden makes you cringe – I’m with you. However, you don’t have to adorn your lawn with plastic seagulls, shells and fake sand to get the sense of the seaside. The trick is to keep it subtle. For example, consider using materials such as drift wood, beach pebbles and attractive grasses like Festuca for the plants.


Tips to Create a Beach-Themed Garden Design

In a beach themed garden, you don’t want to cram the garden with flowers and beds. Instead, plant exotic and unique flowers sparingly.

Choose A Theme

There are actually several sub-themes to consider when designing your beach-themed garden. For example:

  • Nautical
  • Rustic
  • Tropical
  • Ibiza/beach club

Each one will have a unique combination of plants, colours, and furniture. For example, vibrant colours may be used in a tropical theme, while gentler hues may be used in a rustic one.

You also need to focus on the weather conditions and space that you have. There are short or small types of plants that you can grow in pots if you desire palm trees but only have a little space. The sago palm, which is not a true palm but has a similar appearance, can also be used to achieve the palm aesthetic on a smaller scale.

Additional Tip: If you’re considering including a pathway in your beach retreat, choose a bridge to lead your guests to your patio refuge, and use ropes as handles.


Small touches


  • Driftwood planks can be used as stepping stones to resemble the beach walkways if you have any available.
  • You can easily paint furniture with outdoor-grade paint if you need help finding it in the proper shade. Use colored tablecloths, pillows, and cushions to add color after using white or unpainted wood furniture. Together with a hammock and some tiki torches, this would be fantastic.
  • Put your flowers in their favourite soil, and then cover them with sand. Alternatively, you might consider using small beach pebbles, granitic sand or a mixture of crushed seashells.
  • These can either be used as random placements or as garden borders. You could use enormous shells (made of cement or genuine shells) for small to medium-sized plants.
  • Succulents and air plants look beautiful in sea urchin pots.

These distinctive elements suggested above can be added to plant beds or can be put on a show on your patio table.


Additional Tip: Any garden setting benefits greatly from the sculptural addition of stacked stones. But because they are a close friend of the water, stones and pebbles can make an excellent addition to a beach garden.


Water feature


A water feature such as a fountain would be well placed in a beach-themed garden. You don’t need to spend a fortune getting one made bespoke – there are many water features available in shops.


Extra touches


  • In gardens, adding sculptures can make a significant impact. A statement sculpture that provides depth to your garden by creating a focal point. 
  • No matter its size, a backyard can be improved with dining sets. Likewise, a dining set can work if you have a little outdoor area.
  • Adirondack chairs are iconic and truly capture the essence of a coastal garden. They can be left outside all year round because they are wind, water, and rust-resistant.
  • The hard landscaping should, like any garden, blend in with the surrounding landscape and enhance the property’s architecture.
  • When designing the hard landscaping for a coastal garden, use local materials whenever possible to highlight the landscape. These will blend gently with the same colour palette as the soil.



Need some professional design advice?…

Design for Me is a free platform to help you quickly find the right design professional for your home project. My name is Emily Barnes and as a residential architect myself, I started Design for Me after finding that talented and innovative smaller firms and individuals, who are perfectly placed to design new homes, extensions and renovations, can often get buried under the online profiles of large commercial companies.

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