Creating spectacular landscapes in small spaces

Coastal Commercial Landscaping Challenges & Their Solutions

by Janet Banks

With much of the Australian community living and working near the coast line, designing outdoor areas for communities that can be easily maintained is a challenge. Here are some of the specific challenges that commercial landscapers face and some solutions that they use.

Challenge: salinity

The water in coastal areas can often be quite saline and this can restrict amount of plants, particularly ground covers such as grass, that can be used. However, it becomes even more important in coastal regions to maintain coverage due to the high winds and risks of erosion.

Commercial landscapers conquer this issue with a combination of native plants that are well adapted to highly saline environments, such as salt bush and sea grass, along with hard ground covers such as paving and gravel to cover the areas that don't support any plants including areas which receive little natural light.

Challenge: high winds

Coastal regions are often subject to high winds especially in the afternoon and early weekends. This can make community areas harder to enjoy, as well as increase the amount of ground cover removal and erosion as the winds pick up loose sand and dust.

Commercial landscapers conquer this issue by using high structures such as walls, along with greenery such as hedges and bushes, to redirect the winds around the areas that will be used by people. They select trees and bushes that can deal with high winds without breaking or losing branches, such as the coastal banksia tree and the coastal rosemary bush.

Challenge: strong sun and sandy soils

The combination of strong sunlight and sand soils can add up to an expensive and high maintenance garden, with massive watering and fertilising requirements. This is often not practical in commercial projects, and can affect the overall environmental efficiency rating of the commercial development.

Commercial Landscapers deal with this by a combination of techniques including efficient under surface reticulation, sensible choices of native plants that are used to the conditions and sensible planning of where to use greenery vs. laying hard cover such as paving or gravel.

No matter how seemingly inhospitable the area surrounding your coastal commercial development, experienced commercial landscapers can create an inviting and practical space for the community to use. If you want to further explores some ideas that are specific to the site you are developing then you should contact a commercial landscaper to organise a site visit.