The garden-wanderer who finds himself by the sea in winter never fails to note the cheerful colour of the Japanese Euonymuses, the bright glow of the Hollies and the healthful tint of a shrub which in mild spells may be full of bloom, the Laurustinus. Looking farther, he may see that sturdy evergreen Escallonia macrantha happy. These are lessons for him.
Before spring opens another beautiful evergreen, Berberis Darwinii, may be in bloom; and when it attains its full beauty there will be nothing to vie with it. Two things are important to the seaside gardener in connection with this shrub: that it will thrive on chalky soil, and that it will bear sharp shearing back. Some early pruning is good for it. Without that, it may tend to become gawky. One sees it sometimes tall, freely branched and tree-like. It is far from being without beauty in that state when in bloom, but as a pyramidal shrub eight or ten feet high, perfectly symmetrical, densely clothed in foliage, and in its season a mass of brilliant orange yellow flowers, it is in its most imposing garb. To secure that end, knife or shears must be brought into play, for short branches will be thrust out from the mass, and after (or before) blooming they should be shortened.
Other of the Barberries also love the sea air.
With liberal planting of the four splendid shrubs named, the seaside garden will be bright in winter and spring; but there are many other kinds to draw upon.
The Ceanothuses will succeed, especially if planted near walls.
All the ivies will be happy, and in poor sandy soil there will be nothing so comfortable as the Sea Buckthorn, Hippophae rhamnoides, with its abundance of pretty berries.
Roses will thrive if the soil is good, but as a class they do not care for the light, sandy and gravelly soils which are often found in seaside gardens. The likeliest to thrive under such conditions are the hybrid Wichuraianas, which will be at home on banks, pillars and arches; and the great rugged Japanese Rose, Rosa rugosa, which forms dense clumps.
One of the interesting features of summer will be the Tamarisk, whose graceful, charmingly tinted plumes grow in close masses - a harmony of brown and olive. This beautiful plant loves sea air, and if planted a yard apart will form a splendid garden hedge. It should be protected on the most exposed side with wattles in cold districts during winter.
Here already we have a wide range of material to choose from, but it can be still extended to bring in less familiar things: Atriplex Halimus, Baccaris halimi-folia, all the Boxes, Coronilla Emerus, Elaeagnuses of sorts (including bright varieties such as aurea marginata, Simoni variegata, glabra aurea, the silvery microphylla, and larger ones such as multiflorus and microphylla), the Forsythias, Halimodendron argenteum, the Junipers, the Laurels, Leycesteria formosa,the Lyciums, the Mock Oranges, the Olearias, the Honeysuckles, the Phillyraeas, Rhamnus alaternus, Rhododendron catawbiense, the Ribes, the Willows, Shepherdia argentea, the Spanish Broom, the Snowberry (Symphoricarpus), Ulex europaeus (Gorse), the Veronicas and the Yuccas. The hardy and vigorous Veronica Traversii will grow in the poorest limestone soil.
As a protecting Conifer there is nothing more useful than the Austrian Pine, which can be planted in thick belts on banks of poor soil, and will endure almost any degree of exposure. Pinus montana and the variety Mughus, P. Laricio, P. Pinaster, Cupressus Lawsoniana, and its forms, and C. macrocarpa(the Monterey Cypress) will thrive.
Fig. Abutilon Vitifolium. A Free Flowering Shrub For A Sheltered Corner. Colour photo by R. A. Malby.
Clematis Flammula will prove one of the best of creepers.
The Birch, the Beech, the Hornbeam, the Sycamore, the Ash, the Poplar, the Evergreen Oak and the Wych Elm will serve where large trees are wanted.
On very bleak, exposed places the list of trees must be restricted. The Austrian Pine, the Larch, the Corsican Pine and the Norway Spruce are good Conifers. The Beech and Hornbeam are useful trees, holding their brown leaves through the winter; seaside nurserymen often use the Beech for a hedge. The Ash, Poplar, Birch and Wych Elm are also good. The Thorns, the Hollies, the False Acacia (Robinia) and the White Willow will endure great hardships.
The shrubs that will best endure rude buffeting are Atriplex Halimus, the Aucubas, the Barberries, the Laurel, the Bladder Senna (Colutea) the Cotoneasters, the Brooms, the double Deutzia, the Euonymuses, Gorse, Halimodendron argenteum, the Junipers, the Privet, Lycium europaeum, the Mock Orange, the Phillyraeas, the Spanish Broom (Spartiurti junceum), the Ribes, the Snowberry, the Guelder Rose (Viburnum opulus sterile) and Veronica Traversii. The last named has remarkable tenacity of life, and will survive the roughest handling on the poorest, driest bank.