Weekend projects

A coastal garden retreat in your own outdoor space

By Paul Hervey-Brookes

Instead of beds, borders and patios, perhaps your very own seaside garden retreat for those long summer days and evenings is perfect for somewhere to escape to without travelling for miles.

With a little imagination, time and enthusiasm, this is possible. It doesn't have to be a sandy bucket and spade space. Pebbles and Bradstone Sleepers for groynes will look just as effective. Don’t forget with some handy paint work even your garden shed can be transformed into a beach hut hideaway! 

Stripes in blue and cream are the most evocative but your imagination is the only limitation.

An old sail, bits of rope and tile on edge paving will give the whole thing a new and highly romantic lease of life. The first step is to decide where in the garden it will go and then start to plan.

An old sail, bits of rope and tile on edge paving will give the whole thing a new and highly romantic lease of life. The first step is to decide where in the garden it will go and then start to plan.
Paul Hervey-Brookes

Clear the area you have decided on and cover the ground with weed suppressant. Mark the areas where the groynes will be positioned, to create a breakwater effect, then put them in place. Realistic stonewood sleepers will create a striking effect when used for this purpose. Remember to drift plants up from them and and bask pebbles to simulate the seas' effects.

To create the feel of a pebbly beach, use Scottish cobbles, traditional tumbled beach cobbles and Highland pebbles that will change colour when wet and appear to be washed with the waves. Scatter a few pieces of driftwood and some shells through drifts of grey-leafed grasses and coastal plants such as cistus, oregano and buckthorn.

Don’t forget an old lobster pot and a striped deckchair to finish off the look!

Viola - a beachy garden design for the ideal getaway after a hard day at work.

Meet the author

Paul Hervey-Brookes

Paul had his own highly successful landscape design business, and has also designed a range of gardening gifts for Marks & Spencers.

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