Coastal Gardening in South Africa

Bookshelf: Coastal Gardening in South Africa

Coastal Gardening in South Africa – Allan Haschick

Coastal Gardening in South Africa
Coastal Gardening in South Africa

This book isn’t about diving or marine subjects – not even remotely – but I thought it might be helpful to draw the attention of coastal residents who happen to read this blog (or, the one coastal resident who reads this blog?) to this fabulously useful book about gardening at the coast.

It didn’t occur to me until we moved from Kenilworth to Sun Valley, but gardens close to the ocean exist in a set of high-stress circumstances that suburban gardens don’t have to deal with. There is airborne salt, more wind, and – if you’re really close to the sea – sunlight reflecting off the ocean and burning your plants. The soil is often of poor quality, and a high water table may be a mixed blessing… Your plants may not like the brackish water that your wellpoint brings to the surface. Moreover I am a terrible gardener, operating in wild bursts of activity sometimes years apart, so I can use all the help I can get.

Allan Haschick is a Port Elizabeth resident and has created a useful guide for gardeners operating near the coast. He lists plants of various types (shrubs, ground cover, etc.) that like coastal conditions, and provides useful guidelines for landscaping and garden planning. My favourite part of the book, which I hope will assist me in getting myself into gear in the garden, is a checklist of what to do in each month of the year to keep your garden in good form.

Used in conjunction with a book that provides more detail about each plant type listed, this is an excellent companion for coastal gardeners wanting to make the best of the conditions where they live. For a sample of the kind of inspiration contained in this volume, check out the author’s Pinterest board on the subject. (Just try not to collect shells, rocks or driftwood from the beach if at all possible – all these are components of the habitat and ecosystem and get used and broken down by marine organisms.)

You can get the book here.

Published by


Lapsed mathematician, creator of order, formulator of hypotheses. Lover of the ocean, being outdoors, the bush, reading, photography, travelling (especially in Africa) and road trips.

Leave a Reply