When Water Is The Enemy

Everyone loves a water view, but don’t let it leach your landscape.
Note the buffer garden area in this Vero Beach beachfront in Riomar.

People are attracted to the obvious charms and simple beauty of water: the reflections, waves and trickling waterfalls. Easy-to-care-for waterfront plantings can add color and texture that contrast with the rest of your landscape, and the birds, butterflies and other wildlife attracted to the water will add further decoration.

There are challenges and additional responsibilities when you own or manage waterfront property. Most coastal areas have sandy soil, which means that there may not be sufficient nutrients and that water drains away quickly. Sand may not be your only challenge. If your property is subject to sea spray and possible brackish water incursion into the ground water, the presence of salt is fatal for many plants. While sea breezes are one of the attractions of coastal living, your plants might not do so well with the constant buffeting from the wind. If your property fronts a river, lake or  bay, you may have erosion from both storm water from your property into the body of water and from waves or currents eating away your shoreline.

Read the entire article in the January 2008 issue