Good Shrub Choices for Coastal Gardens

One of the main challenges with a coastal garden are the salt-laden sea breezes, which can be too much for some plants to handle. A good windbreak of trees and shrubs, however, will greatly increase the number of plants that will thrive in a coastal setting. To help you plan a new shrubbery windbreak for your garden, here are five shrubs that you could choose. There are of course many more to choose from but these five should give you a good place to begin when it comes to selecting the shrubs that are right for your situation:

Elaeagnus x ebbingeiElaeagnus x ebbingei

This versatile and useful nitrogen fixer can grow happily, even further north, though it will tend not to fruit in more northerly areas. One of the good things about this shrub is that it will grow well in less fertile soil.


Berberis is another shrub that is particularly unfussy. There are a number of varieties to choose from that will do very well almost wherever you put them and are easily able to cope with the wind and salt in a coastal garden. An evergreen berberis will help provide a windbreak year round.

BlackthornBlackthorn/ Sloe (Prunus Spinosa)

Blackthorns are great for coastal situations. The sloes are also useful to humans as well as appealing to a range of native wildlife. Blackthorn will do well in any moist yet free-draining soil in full sun and have a bushy habit that is perfect to create a windbreak hedge that will protect the rest of your garden from the sea winds.

ElderElder (Sambucus nigra)

Another shrub with edible berries (and flowers), elders are perfect for including in an attractive mixed shrub and tree windbreak in a coastal garden. Elders are unfussy and will thrive in a wide range of different situations.


This evergreen is another shrub that can help maintain cover from sea breezes in winter when it is often most needed. Pyracantha is attractive and can also help to attract birds and other wildlife to your coastal garden.

There are plenty more options for an attractive mixed shrub and tree windbreak for your coastal garden, but with any luck considering the above options should have set you in the right direction. Successful gardening is all about considering your unique situation and finding the right plants for the right place – working with nature rather than fighting against it.