Elisabeth C. Miller Library

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Plant Answer Line Question

Keywords: Glyceria, Muhlenbergia, Holodiscus discolor, Elymus mollis, Symphoricarpos albus, Rosa nutkana, Vaccinium ovatum, Mahonia aquifolium, Festuca, Seaside gardening, Gaultheria shallon

Do you have some suggestions for hardy, lower growing plants that would do well near the water? Our house is on the south side of Whidbey Island. The main plantings will be behind the house, thus roughly 75-100 yards from the shore. This part of the yard has early morning sun and then some shade in the afternoon. And, since we have a large yard at home we are working toward very low maintenance at the beach.

Answer:

The following plants are mentioned in April Pettinger's book, Native Plants in the Coastal Garden (Whitecap, 2002):

SHRUBS

Arctostaphylos uva-ursi (Kinnikinnick)
Gaultheria shallon (Salal)
Vaccinium ovatum (Evergreen huckleberry)
Rosa nutkana (Nootka rose)
Holodiscus discolor (Oceanspray)
Symphoricarpos albus (Snowberry)
Mahonia aquifolium (Oregon grape)

NATIVE GRASSES

Festuca idahoensis (Idaho fescue)
Festuca idahoensis spp. roemeri (Roemer's fescue)
Leymus mollis or Elymus mollis (Dunegrass)
Deschampsia cespitosa (Tufted hairgrass)
Festuca rubra (Red fescue)
Glyceria grandis (Reed mannagrass)
Muhlenbergia glomerata (Marsh muhly)

There are many other ideas in this book, which I highly recommend.

Date 2018-03-15
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