Coastal Dune Garden
Landscape Typology: Coastal Strand
Natural Places in San Diego: Border Field State Park, Cabrillo National Monument, Torrey Pines State Park
Description: Sinuous sand mounds replaced thickets of black sage and sagebrush to create an
S-shaped wave creating an overall effect analogous to a weathered coastal fissure. The crests and depressions of the mounds create niches for creeping groundcovers characteristic of the immediate coast. Plants such as red sand verbena (Abronia maritima), beach primrose (Camissonia cheiranthifolia), and silver beach bur (Ambrosia chamissonis) naturally move and flow with transitory wind-blown and rain-weathered landforms. The long shadows of the morning and evening sun accentuate the mounds while coastal annuals such as miniature poppy (Eschscholzia caespitosa) brighten the landscape and glimmer in the sunshine. Red buckwheats (Eriogonum grande rubescens) and coastal gumplants (Grindelia stricta), extend the show well into summer. Over time, the mounds will be carpeted in rolling groundcovers, contrasting each mound by foliage texture and color.
Helpful Tips: Every coastal garden should have “sand dunes!” Mimic salt spray with frequent light misting during cool summer mornings and use low volume overhead sprinklers to minimize runoff. Erosion is less of a concern as the groundcovers intermingle and the beach party begins!
Banner Photo:Mojave prickly poppy | Rachel Cobb