In this second blog post (read the first here), Cornish Garden Team share their top coastal gardening tips and tell us how to plant a piece of Watergate Bay at home.
Vicky and Ed from the Cornish Garden Team, based up the road in Wadebridge, have been busy transforming our weary plants into pots of blooming with happiness since 2013.
In their first post, we learnt about the challenges gardening in such an extreme location. So what are their top tips for other coastal gardeners? Ed spills the beans.
Location, location, location
“Local conditions are all important,” says Ed. So it really depends where you live. Cornwall is mild, but the north coast really gets battered. The sheltered valleys of the Helford River on the south coast meanwhile are ideal for subtropical gardens.
Extreme coastal conditions require plants that can tolerate poor soil, drought, and wind. “Go for the hardiest, toughest plants first and then experiment afterwards, little by little, with more delicate species,” says Ed.
Try some of the plants below, which have been planted around the hotel, bearing in mind some (such as Aeoniums and Aloes) will need very good drainage and winter protection – you have to treat these like a cactus.
Succulents like Aeoniums, Echeveria Lampranthus
Yucca and Eryngium (sea holly)
Armeria (sea pinks, thrift)
Watergate Bay in your own garden
All of the plants listed above will survive away from the coast, but most will need full sun and excellent drainage.
However, they aren’t all hardy and hate persistent moisture in winter. A tip is to plant Aloes and Aeoniums in very well drained ceramic pots, say 30cm wide, and then place the pots in the ground. Then each October lift out the pot and put in in a greenhouse or conservatory until late April or May.