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Coastal Garden Design in Dorset

Designed by garden designer Helen Elks-Smith MSGD. This project provided us with the exciting opportunity to design a garden overlooking a natural harbour. We were inspired by the curvilinear landscape of this coastal location and the small island adjacent to the shoreline.

Coastal Garden Design in Dorset by garden designer Helen Elks-Smith MSGD

The garden sweeps down from a sheltered deck at the rear of the property to an intimate seating area overlooking the harbour.

Coastal Garden Design in Dorset by garden designer Helen Elks-Smith MSGD

Local Purbeck stone has been used throughout to connect the space with the surrounding vernacular landscape and provide a strong underlying structure to the subtle planting.

Coastal Garden Design in Dorset by garden designer Helen Elks-Smith MSGD

The naturalistic hues of the seascape suggested a subtle colour palette of silver greys and blues and plants were selected that will tolerate this exposed location.

Coastal Garden Design in Dorset by garden designer Helen Elks-Smith MSGD

Grasses were used throughout the design to provide movement and texture, animating the garden on breezy days.

Coastal Garden Design in Dorset by garden designer Helen Elks-Smith MSGD

Plant list

Galanthus nivalis
Armeria maritima
Viburnum davidii
Verbena bonariensis
Stachys byzantina 'Big Ears'
Choisya ternata
Santolina chamaecyparissus
Salvia officinalis 'Purpurascens'
Origanum laevigatum 'Herrenhausen'
Allium 'Globemaster'
Allium hollandicum 'Purple Sensation'
Buddleja alternifolia
Jasminum nudiflorum
Perovskia 'Blue Spire'
Centranthus ruber 'Albus'
Cordyline australis
Agapanthus 'Purple Cloud'
Phormium tenax
Phormium tenax Purpureum Group
Passiflora caerulea
Pileostegia viburnoides
Cephalaria gigantea
Pennisetum alopecuroides 'Hameln'
Clematis 'Etoile Violette'
Eryngium yuccifolium
Libertia grandiflora
Lychnis coronaria
Muehlenbeckia complexa
Thymus vulgaris 'Silver Posie'
Hedera helix 'Green Ripple'
Carex 'Ice Dance'
Echium pininana
Clematis armandii 'Snowdrift'
Ceratostigma willmottianum 'Forest Blue'
Euonymus japonicus 'Latifolius Albomarginatus'
Lavandula x intermedia 'Grosso'
Bupleurum fruticosum
Calamintha nepeta subsp. nepeta 'Blue Cloud'
Perovskia atriplicifolia 'Little Spire'
Allium 'Mont Blanc'
Anemone 'Wild Swan'
Sarcococca hookeriana 'Winter Gem'
Hydrangea macrophylla 'Hot Red Violet'
Euphorbia x pasteurii 'Phrampton Phatty'
Erigeron glaucus 'Sea Breeze'
Allium 'Red Mohican'
Chaenomeles x superba 'Lemon and Lime'
Calamagrostis epigejos
Ammophila arenaria
Allium schoenoprasum
Cortaderia richardii
Euphorbia 'Jade Dragon'
Designed by Helen Elks-Smith

Other gardens by this designer