seaside themed planter

(109 Posts)

Hi ladies,
I have a bag of seashells that I would like to use in a seaside themed planter. Can you give me some plant suggestions? Planter hasn't been bought yet, so any size, and it will be in full sun on our deck. I'm thinking Whitstable meets Dungeness, rather than anything flash, but planter will be in London so no sea air. Any ideas?
I use to go the BBC website for plant info but it seems to closed down - what sited do you use for inspiration and advice?
Thanks in advance smile

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Sun 05-Aug-12 23:47:28

Whitstable meets Dungeness, eh?

In that case, how about (space permitting) crambe cordifolia? Eryngium? I believe Derek Jarman got into trouble with the nature conservation bods for using non-native plants, but I guess you're just aiming for the general style and look? Anyway, the best gardening site is the Royal Hortocultural Society. There are some useful ideas here - most coastal plants are very tough and should be able to withstand sarf London. One think to beware if I'd that the shells (if you use them as mulch) will make the compost quite chalky and so acid-loving plants won't be happy.

Viperidae Sun 05-Aug-12 23:54:07

I live at the seaside and, if my garden is anything to go by, you should just put in a few silvery, spiky things and cover everything with fecking sand angry

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Sun 05-Aug-12 23:57:45

A bit of driftwood or a rusty iron article or two would also add to the Prospect Cottage ambience.

HeathRobinson Mon 06-Aug-12 00:06:13

Well thank you so much! I have had a slight change of theme now... The plan is to buy young daughter (5 yrs) playhouse, place on our deck and paint like a beachhut. next to 'beachhut' a small raised bed 'garden' with childfriendly plants strewn with shells and beachcombed stuff we seem collect when we go to the seaside. Plants maybe like thrift, some red poppies. What do you think? Young Rugosa is pretty good at deadheading, so they'll need to be pretty bombproof

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Mon 06-Aug-12 23:40:11

That sounds fabulous! I want to paint my shed like a beach hut.

Thrift is good, poppies too. Maybe you could add something like nigella or nasturtiums which your daughter could grow from seed? They're pretty bombproof.

UnrequitedSkink Mon 06-Aug-12 23:42:14

Some grasses maybe?

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Mon 06-Aug-12 23:42:23

Oh and if you find a large bit of driftwood/ artfully rusted metalwork, you could grow a clenatis or honeysuckle up it.

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Mon 06-Aug-12 23:45:26

Unrequitedskink - Oh yes. Festival glauca would be great, as it's blue.

Grockle Mon 06-Aug-12 23:49:10

I live by the seaside and was going to paint my shed like a beach hut but went for a toned down version. I love it.

We have lots of heather & gorse growing along the clifftop as well as pink daisies - sort of osteospermum things? Other things like sea lavender and sea purslane might need more salty water. And palm trees. Lots of palms.

FreelanceMama Tue 07-Aug-12 00:04:15

grasses are lovely for giving some motion like waves, you could try a few edibles too if your daughter is a bit hands-on, e.g. Chives and as someone said, nasturtiums. A child's windmill is quite nice to add too.

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Tue 07-Aug-12 00:06:18

I won't actually paint my shed like a beach hut - it's just a daydream - but I think I'll go for a slightly two-tone effect with contrasting window frames, etc.

Grockle Tue 07-Aug-12 09:34:51

That's what I did, maud - Cuprinol Shades. I went for a greeny one (I think it is thyme or willow) and cream. It looks lovely & everyone comments. I now need to do the chicken house but can't decide if I should do it the same colour or just dark green like the fence behind it.

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Tue 07-Aug-12 09:38:21

That sounds lovely, Grockle. I'm thinking silvery grey for mine.

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Tue 07-Aug-12 09:45:36

That does sound lovely, Grockle. I'm thinking silvery grey for mine.

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Tue 07-Aug-12 09:46:15

::smacks forehead on desk::

Grockle Tue 07-Aug-12 11:21:44

You only need to do it once maud wink

Silvery grey sounds lovely. You could get some glitter spray paint to Make it sparkly as well.

Disclaimer: I have just discovered glitter spray paint so everything that stands still long enough is now sparkly chez Grockle. I am quite sure that DP will be delighted when he returns on Friday.

I also have a can of glow in the dark spray paint...

Where did that B&q ad come from?

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Tue 07-Aug-12 14:03:29

Weird double-postings from this phone - first post seems to vanish, so I post again and then lo and behold, both appear. Gah.

I think I might forego the glittery paint, but it is tempting. DD is watching Gnomeo and Juliet and it's making me want to adorn my garden with gnomes too.


Grockle Tue 07-Aug-12 14:19:30

We have gnomes--


My plagerie will be a gnome free zone. It will be whimsical yet tasteful. Rather like Grandpa in my pocket meets vita sackville west white garden.

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Tue 07-Aug-12 16:39:47

Whimsical yet tasteful is exactly what I aim for even with the judicious addition of a few gnomes.

Grockle Tue 07-Aug-12 16:44:10

And me. But with burnt patches from the dog weeing on the lawn, footballs and assorted toys strewn everywhere and little piles of weeds/ branches I have pulled down but not yet dealt with, it looks rather more like the local dump.

Perhaps I need more gnomes

Could you maybe call it a toy mulch?

Grockle Tue 07-Aug-12 17:06:52

That sounds a little more sophisticated smile

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Tue 07-Aug-12 17:32:07

Yes, or a living sculpture or an installation?

UnrequitedSkink Tue 07-Aug-12 18:02:23

A focal point. That is what I believe will make all visitors look past the plastic tat and piles of undealt-with weeds/branches (I thought I was the only one that did that!). So I have a 'rose arbour' at one end of the garden, sadly it only leads to a tatty deck and my shed, but I'm living the dream people.

i do wonder how people manage to get any work done in the garden when they work, have children and want to watch telly too keep up with popular culture! My daughter is nearly 5 and this is the first time since she was born that I have even thought of spending time gardening. So all of my much loved plants are now running riot and we are being boarded by next doors convulvus <shame>. My mum mows the grass when she comes to visit! I like to thing of it as a riot of natural planting, and hope that DD's toys will one day compost down to something useful.

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Tue 07-Aug-12 20:16:38

Your best chance, I think, is to shove a teeny trowel into their hand when they can barely toddle and get them gardening with you. It worked for my friend but not, alas, for me.

UnrequitedSkink Tue 07-Aug-12 20:33:12

I'm keeping my grass long this year so that bees can feed on the clover. They need all the help they can get, poor things. (Well, that's my excuse anyway.)

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Tue 07-Aug-12 20:58:26

Excellent, Unrequitedskink. How ecologically-minded of you.

Sadly young Rugosa used to just pull out plants, lop the flowers off of my agapanthus and basically cause chaos - no fun for me at all. Now she makes mud pies which I don't mind, and bombs about the place with her wheel barrow, so I have some time to myself.
I love bees by the way, apparently they are starving in London because too many people have hives and not enough have gardens. Luckily my oregano is taking over everywhere, so they get a good feed at mine smile If I let the 'lawn' grow, we would just have a carpet of dandelions.

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Tue 07-Aug-12 21:26:57

That's fascinating, SarfEast. Is London reaching beehive saturation point?

Apparently so - too many hobby bee keepers. Here is the article by the Evening Standard's Crime Correspondent (!)

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Tue 07-Aug-12 22:01:30

Well I never. I thought the concern was the number of bees lost through loss of green space and varroa. I shall look at my bee-keeping friends in another light now.

Grockle Tue 07-Aug-12 22:18:36

Ooo, my garden seems to be a bee haven. I am growing some long grass at the end of the garden for them. I need am installation. I saw some fabulous metal sculptures at Beaulieu this week but starting prices were about £300. I was hoping for something more like £30 or less

have you thought about a broken down car? very popular in our area, and also educational for the kiddiewinks - I believe they call it tinkering

How about one of the hazel twig thingies - you plant and weave and they sprout and look lovely

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Tue 07-Aug-12 22:46:28

We must be near neighbours, SarfEast, although round our way a rotting mattress is also considered tres chic.

Grockle, I have three lilies which look rather like this but are not copper and were very cheap attractively priced. I got them at a local garden fair.

a compost heap in the making surely?

I live in the part of SE London that sounds like a brassica.
Grockle You might get something nice on an architectural salvage site?

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Tue 07-Aug-12 22:55:31

Eh? The mattress or the, ahem, up and coming neighbourhood? ::wink::

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Tue 07-Aug-12 22:56:24

Ah yes. The London Borough of Cauliflower.

That's right Maud. I like to think that the mattresses are compost heaps in the making - maybe I should throw some tomato seeds on top and see what happens!

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Tue 07-Aug-12 23:04:40

Ah, so you have the mattresses too? Because I am Hyacinth Bouquet, I generally ring the town hall and have them carted away, but you are right. Some tomato seeds, with perhaps a few calendula, would give them a jaunty Dig For Victory air.

Crikey - i think we have the concept now for our garden at Chelsea smile

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Wed 08-Aug-12 09:50:46

Indeed. We might also take inspiration from this urban gem of a garden.


ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Wed 08-Aug-12 10:33:28

Why the sulk? Are you not inspired?

::anticipates winning Gold with SarfEast at Chelsea 2013::

They've done it already sad . They have omitted to use the ''mattress as urban grow bag' idea though - dragon's den may be interested

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Wed 08-Aug-12 20:58:57

Indeed. I think if we were to develop a range of mattress grow bags - cot bed size, say, for the balcony of a Clerkenwell loft, up to super king size for the leafier suburbs, such as Barnes - we could easily persuade Peter Jones to give us half a million pounds.

Do you want to ring them or shall I? I wonder if the urine stains would cause the stuffing to breakdown in the same way it improves a compost heap? Never tried it myself, but that short gal Roberta Flowerdew recommended it on the TV I believe.

As for our show garden, do you think a burning bin could be our outdoor heater? Looking at the garden on your link, I think the taxi was slightly de trop I think a burnt out Clio would be more the thing.

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Wed 08-Aug-12 22:19:25

I'll let you make the initial call.

I have to say, though, that I thought we might source the mattresses from NCT sales and the better class of house clearance, thus avoiding any ::winces:: contamination issues.

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Wed 08-Aug-12 22:23:14

Sorry. Neglected to answer your question about the show garden.

Bins in this borough tend to melt when set alight. Perhaps those in your borough are more robust? Not quite convinced about the Clio. Perhaps, for the sake of retro cool, it should be a Vauxhall Astra?

Grockle Wed 08-Aug-12 22:33:41

Oh! Look at you with your Chelsea plans. I have to agree, an Astra is probably a good bet. There should be blooms of dandelions And perhaps we could add some interest with broken glass as mulch? I think we should also add plenty of dog poo. GrockleDog can provide white ones if we're continuing the retro theme?

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Wed 08-Aug-12 22:37:59

Thank you, Grockle. Do you want to join the design collective? 2013 is Chelsea's centenary year so we need to offer something very special.

::worries about having to spilt Dragon's Den proceeds three ways::

Can I get back to you about the inclusion of GrockleDog's contribution to the design?

I wonder if we can customise gnomes to look like little hoodies? Thrifty recycling! No sparkle spray though. Wondering about the water feature now... Cans of carling maybe?

Grockle Thu 09-Aug-12 06:57:29

Yes, cans of carling and a statue of a yoof with his jeans round his knees & pants showing, spitting on the ground. With sound effects too.

So, erm, yes please to joining the Chelsea collective but don't worry about the dragons den proceeds, I'm not convinced you'll win. grin

Grockle Thu 09-Aug-12 07:00:20

In fact, if you google 'millennium park fountsins' you'll see some fab spitting ones. Bit bigger & classier than what I was thinking. I'd do a link but am on my phone & can't!

Grockle Thu 09-Aug-12 07:00:45


Millennium park fountains

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Thu 09-Aug-12 09:32:24

Ah yes. My other Dragon's Den idea is a small card to hand out to local yoofs, saying Nobody wants to see your imitation designer pants and bum cleavage. Pull up your trousers NOW.

Grockle Thu 09-Aug-12 15:43:57

I like this idea very much. Or you could have it as a hand-stamp so you could stamp it on their hands as they walk past. Or their foreheads, perhaps.

Grockle Thu 09-Aug-12 15:44:40

Maybe a long hook to allow you to twang the elastic? Like those pretty victorian button hooks... I like the sound of your cards maud would they be letterpress?

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Thu 09-Aug-12 19:52:26

Oh yes, SarfEast. A modified button hook does appeal to my Victirian sensibilities.

::flutters fan::

The world would be a beautiful place if we were in charge Grockle and Maud.

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Thu 09-Aug-12 22:15:52

Wouldn't it just? If we start quietly in sarf London, we could gradually annex the rest of the country and, eventually, we would be supreme rulers of the universe.


We'll need a flag - (maybe too early for our Olympic team - championship toy sorting/dead-heading etc) but a flag would be lovely... a Liberty print would be a good 'jumping off' point I think pretty

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Thu 09-Aug-12 22:35:31

Oh yes. As this is a civilised revolution, to reintroduce manners, courtesy and properly pulled-up trousers to the world, a Liberty print flag - well starched, obviously - would be just the thing. I have always been fond of Ianthe.

maybe we could splice them? Well we have plenty of time to decide before we march on Sissinghurst and claim it for our own.

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Thu 09-Aug-12 22:48:32

Or a sort of tricouleur, with a third print of Grockle's choice?

Further thought needs to be given to whether our empire would be run from Sissinghurst, Wisley or Fortnum and Mason (for the biscuits).

so we'll need
1) National Anthem
2) Flag
3) Stationery
4) Stamps

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Thu 09-Aug-12 22:58:44

5) Uniforms - something nice from Boden, possibly with extra silver braid

must be washable! I actually prefer Toast - lovely quality...

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Thu 09-Aug-12 23:07:29

My most recent shopping had been at Phase Eight, but as this coup d'état is being launched via MN, I felt duty-bound to suggest Boden. Off now to check out Toast...

You're quite right Maud, I am forgetting our subjects sisters - Boden all the way.

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Thu 09-Aug-12 23:12:15

Actually, after a quick browse of the website, I'm converted to Toast. Some lovely frocks there.

Some weird trousers in the sale section, but very nice styles. They have been know to sell Victorian style frock coats and button up ankle boots too, but not this season unfortunately.

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Thu 09-Aug-12 23:28:42

How have I managed to miss Toast until now? I do like naice clothes. In fact, niceness and naiceness might be the bedrock of our new dictatorship happy community.

Naiceness and suitable foundation garments. Actually I wonder if we could be the People's Republic of Mothers Net? I've never really approved of the word Mum.

Convulvus must be made illegal, starting with my garden, Monty Don can be Prime Minister and no one is allowed to drop litter or let their dogs poo on the pavement.

Grockle Fri 10-Aug-12 09:44:29

Oooo, what a plan. I, too, am fond of liberty prints. I will have to look at toast. I always discard them without looking for fear of the price.

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Fri 10-Aug-12 10:11:45

But if Monty is PM, what are we going to do?

Grockle - I think the sale corner of the Toast website is probably the way to go.

As supreme rulers our duty will be to order MD about!
Grockle - state your preferred liberty print - maybe vertical stripes like the French flag?
Yes Toast in the sale only - until the revolution when they will send us lots of stuff for free. <dreams>

BertieBotts Fri 10-Aug-12 11:20:07

Alpines would be great because they're hardy and I love the way they look tiny grin

Thanks Bertie, I like alpines too, good idea.

maud and grockle do you think we should take over Switzerland too? Handy for clocks and chocolate?

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Fri 10-Aug-12 21:04:30

Oh yes to the Liberty print tricouleur!

But do the Swiss need us, SarfEast? I suspect there are other nations in greater need of being bossed about by English [forgive the presumption] women our benevolent guidance. The French, for example. Wonderful country but dog poo-a-gogo.

Too true Maud, I'm all for taking over Europe, but you are the voice of reason. We can only do so much, mustn't spread ourselves too thin, our people need us. We have much to do: manners; decency; standards... where to start? Maybe we need to enlist the WI?

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Fri 10-Aug-12 22:55:53

Some of us, SarfEast, have ::cough:: already infiltrated the WI. I believe there's a branch not unadjacent to your home, too.

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Sat 11-Aug-12 08:54:36

not everyone will share our vision Maud, poor souls.

UnrequitedSkink Mon 27-Aug-12 22:43:39

I've just seen this article about a seaside garden - gives a good list of relevant planting at the bottom. And not a mattress in sight. Bloody posho Telegraph

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Wed 29-Aug-12 08:36:15

I was at the seaside this weekend plotting our coup and wondered how SarfEast's planter was coming on.

Well hello ladies <removes balaclava>. I have just come back from special operations a weekend in Whitstable where I took the opportunity to observe seaside plants in their natural environment. Very pleasant. So I shall attempt to recreate the 'spirit' of a Tankerton beach hut, in a small garden in urban Brassica. I think I should be able to pull it off. Just need to find a nice playhouse for the girlchild, and half a ton of marine aggregate. The Telegraph article is just what I was looking for thank you unrequited skink the plants are lovely. Obviously we are still very much in the planning stage but I plan to open it to the public in the spring I think, may need to get a stuffed seagull to really finish it off nicely. Wonder how long it will last before the foxes try to eat it!

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Thu 30-Aug-12 19:45:17

I look forward to the unveiling ceremony, SarfEast. Will there be jaunty bunting with a nautical/coastal theme?

Well maud I don't want to go 'overboard' with the nautical theme (titters) but I think some well chosen accessories would be appropriate - donkey rides perhaps? Nothing too ostentatious though. Maybe a commemorative cocktail...

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Thu 30-Aug-12 20:02:59

How about one of those boards depicting comically fat figures in striped bathing suits, with holes for visitors to poke their heads through, to provide an amusing photographic souvenir of their visit?

and possibly a brass band? Hmm I wonder if there is time to build a bandstand...
I must say maud it's lovely to find a kindred spirit on here, I wonder what else in the world needs our touch...

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Thu 30-Aug-12 20:20:06

Oh definitely a brass band, to give a rousing rendition of ^Oh I do like to be beside the seaside in Brassica. And perhaps a local confectioner would make some Brassica rock?

It is only a matter of time before MN rules the world, I feel.

I wonder if I need planning permission for a band stand...

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Thu 30-Aug-12 21:09:47

Hmm. Maybe it falls within the scope of permitted development? Or would it be a temporary structure and therefore exempt?

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Sat 29-Sep-12 21:28:18

::Anxious for news::

Ah Maude, my apologies for lack of update about the playhouse - it's up, it's huge, there is no room for plants apart from a tiny window box I will put some gerberas in in the spring. My spatial awareness let me down somewhat, and it is actually takes up much more space on our deck than I thought. Rugosa loves it, and wants her bed moved out there. I might cluster the pot-bound Agapanthus around it in the summer, but my fantasy of a sandy planter will remain as a fantasy. Think that the local cats would use it a loo anyway even if I did.
For some reason I can't quite fathom, our earnings won't buy us a lovely detached house in Hampstead with large wooded garden (Freud's house would be nice - after a lot of decluttering though), so our small garden isn't giving much autumnal colour at the mo. I am feeling rather despondent.

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Sun 11-Nov-12 20:40:38

::Similar apologies for not having come back sooner::

Hmm. We have similar problems. I really ought to be living in a huge Arts and Crafts house with authentic Morris & Co furniture and an immense garden, and yet somehow it hasn't happened.

Could you got to Kew to absorb some of their autumn colour?

I'm glad that Rugosa loves her playmansion, though.

Can we lodge a formal complaint Maude? Maybe the national trust haven't received our letters? Maybe we should take slightly more direct action and just move into Sissinghurst. I think Vita would approve of a whacking great playhouse plonked in the middle of her white garden! <glances around dingy flat> maybe I need to watch 'pride and prejudice' again.

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Mon 12-Nov-12 22:05:09

Oh dear, Sarf.

Actually, I have a plan. Do you fancy a job-share? Have you got any experience in the meeja? There seems to be a vacancy now in a large public sector organisation and a 50/50 split on a £450,000 salary will probably see us right. I get the impression that the National Trust only lets its properties to the Right Sort, so if we get the job we'll probably get the house too.

I favour North and South when I need some uplifting bonnet action.

We wouldn't even have to work the whole year!
I think we could do very well at the beeb Maude. Eastenders would be gone like a shot - far too depressing - Kirsty and Monty would be prime time viewing and I would show some Alan Bennet for our more 'regional viewers'. HFW would be good too, possible some Nigella after the watershed. Ahh you've given me a lot to think about - my viewing favourites... I do enjoy our little chats Maude - did you ever buy any Toast by the way?

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Sat 17-Nov-12 19:49:31

Ah no, I haven't quite committed to buying from Toast. Will it be de rigueur for our working wardrobe once we are running the Beeb? Your programming ideas sound good, although we must also find space and time for Nigel Slater. And create an additional BBC Bonnet Channel for endless reruns of P&P, N&S and Jane Eyre with lovely Toby Stephens.

I wouldn't even mind keeping EastEnders, to remind people of how things used to be before the MN Benevolent Dictatorship came to utterly reasonable power.

oh maude have just seen 'Rosemary and Thyme' on ITV3 - I feel that could be us! (I would want to be FK if poss but we could swap) - Hilarious. We wouldn't necessarily fight crime, but we could bustle around pretty villages organising things? What do you think?

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Thu 22-Nov-12 13:27:44

I've never seen Rosemary and Thyme but feel FK's earlier work in The Good Life might inspire and inform some of the MN Gardeners' Government's policies on sustainable agriculture. Should we limit ourselves, though, to bustling around pretty villages? I thought we had rather grander ambitions entailing eventual world domination and Liberty prints all round not least, our Very Important Policy on requiring young men to pull their trousers up.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now