Building homes at the New Jersey shore poses a few challenges, and landscaping can be one of them. The sandy environment, salty water, hot sun, and wind can all wreak havoc on tender plants and vegetation. We share a lot of information about trends and styles for home design, interior features and finishes. But as the weather warms up, and since April is Lawn and Garden Month, we wanted to share with you some of our tips and tricks for custom beach home landscaping. With limited size properties and sometimes challenging weather elements than can affect plantings, like salt and sun, there is some planning needed to make your homes landscaping and curb appeal magazine quality! Here are some of our favorites:
Pick the Right Plants
When it comes to dealing with the saltwater, sun and maintenance factors for beach home landscaping, it’s important to pick the right plants and locations for those plants on your property. If your home is a close distance to the oceanfront you will want to choose salt tolerant plants like Japanese black pine trees, willow oak, oleander and confederate jasmine, which are just a few. Always check with your landscape architect or builder for recommendations that will work on your particular property.
Consider Sun Exposure
Before you start digging for landscape beds, make sure you consider the sun exposure on the area you want to plant in and choose plants based on their sun exposure requirements. It’s a good idea to analyze how the sun hits your property during different times of the day and keep in mind nearby buildings and structures that may provide shady areas too.
Hardscape Areas Add to the Design
The opportunity to add things like patios, walkways, driveways, pavers, brick and other non-grass surfaces can be great, but always make sure you use porous materials to avoid water run off. These materials tend to be environmentally friendly as well as cost effect and provide for much-needed traffic paths through landscaping.
Top it Off
A well designed and constructed pergola not only provides filtered protection from the sun, it can add beauty and definition to any landscaped area. Pergola’s can also be an extension of the home or can stand-alone, while providing protection for an open terrace. There are many designs, shapes and materials that can be used to create a Pergola, so the options are endless.
A Few Extras for Luxury
A Spill Over Spa is the perfect complement to any landscape design that can be added in a deck or pool. They work beautifully with flagstone too. Many homeowners also choose to add a fire pit, which have come a long way from just a dirt hole in the ground with some sticks and wood. Today you can find bar height gas fire pits, stone and concrete fire pits built right into your patio, and even coffee table fire pits. Another great addition are landscape fountains that add a calm, cooling bubbly sound of running water. There are many residential landscape fountains that can be incorporated into your design, whether it’s in the front or the back of your home depends on your space, landscape design and preferences.
These are just a few suggestions that can really make a difference in the overall exterior design of your new custom home. And since the possibilities are virtually unlimited, we recommend meeting with your builder to determine what lawn and garden features would be appropriate to complement your home design and specific lot conditions. Stonehenge Building & Development has constructed dozens of custom homes on Long Beach Island and the mainland areas of New Jersey. If you are thinking of building your new home, please contact us for more information on lot selection and home plans.