This page will serve as a guideline for those inquiring about flora that will do well along the Pacific coast. Research into micro climates originated with conversations with nurseries in Lincoln City, Oregon.
The micro climates may vary from block to block or from one side of the lake to the other. A gardener at the Pacific coast will have alkaline soil closer to the ocean. With this type of soil one would need to add compost and possibly an acidifying amendment to balance pH. The further away from the beach, the less alkaline the soil will be.
It is strongly suggested you become acquainted with your own micro climates, as well as soil pH. A good starting point is to observe what plants your neighbors have in their gardens.
Portland Nursery suggests the following resources for further research:
Taylors Guide to Seashore Gardening
The Pacific Northwest Gardeners Book of Lists Sunset Western Garden Book
Reference sources used in this flier:
Taylors Guide to Seashore Gardening-Boston, New York 1996
Blakes Coastal Garden - Lincoln City, Oregon
Bear Valley Nursery - Lincoln City, Oregon
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Trees, shrubs, and perennials for hot, dry, and sunny areas
Plants with an * are evergreen.
Port Orford Cedar - Pyramidal shape with lacy, drooping foliage. To 60’. Chamaecyparis lawsoniana
Slender Hinoki Cypress - Narrow, upright growth habit to 20’. Chamaecyparis obtuta ‘Gracilis’
Leyland Cypress - Can grow very fast with long, slender branches. Cupressocyparis leylandii
Sitka Spruce - Pyramidal, to 100’. Picea sitchensis
Shore Pine - Quick growing to 20-35’. Needs regular water. Pinus contorta
Japanese Black Pine - Growth varies by variety, overall wonderfully tolerant. Pinus thunbergii
Douglas Fir - Pyramidal growth when young. PNW native. Pseudotsuga menziesii
Coast Redwood - Fast growing. Needs regular water. Sequioa sempervirens
Western Red Cedar - Moderate to fast growth, can be enormous, but can be kept smaller with annual pruning. Thuja plicata
Western Hemlock - Also a native to the PNW, but much slower growing than the Western Red Cedar. Tsuga heterophylla Leafy Trees
Big Leaf Maple - Native, to 75’. Acer macrophyllum
Red Alder - Grows 45-50’, beautiful smooth gray bark. Alnus rubra
Strawberry Tree - Evergreen, 40’. Arbutus x ‘Marina’
Smoke Tree - Normally multi-stemmed, but can be pruned to standard form. Sizes vary with variety. Thrives in poor soils. Cotinus spp.
Eucalyptus - Sizes vary by species. Eucalyptus spp.
Black Locust - Fast growing to 75’. Wonderful fragrant flowers. Robinia pseudoacacia
French Pussy Willow - Fast growing to 25’. Can be kept small by cutting back every year. Salix caprea
Chaste Tree - Easily pruned into standard form. Blooms summer to fall with fragrant blue flowers. Vitex agnus-castus
Glossy Abelia - Evergreen shrub with tubular flowers. Abelia grandiflora
English Boxwood - Evergreen. Used mostly for hedging. Buxus sepervirens
Bush Anemone - Evergreen shrub, to 4-6’. Flowers late spring- summer. Carpenteria californica
California Wild Lilac - Wide variety of evergreen shrubs, size varies by variety. Once established a very carefree plant. Ceanothus spp.
Mexican Orange - Evergreen for shady situations. Grows 6-8’. Choisya ternata
Rockrose. Evergreen, flowering choice. Sizes vary, most flower through spring into summer. Cistus spp.
Summersweet - Deciduous flowering shrub, to 4-10’. Clethra alnifolia
Sweet Fern - Lovely spreading shrub with fern-like, aromatic foliage. Comptonia peregrine
Sky Flower - Evergreen shrub bearing attractive blue flowers in summer. Duranta ‘Sweet Memory’
Escallonia - Fast growing evergreen shrubs. Dependable flowering in summer and fall. Can be used as a hedging alternative. Escallonia spp.
Coast Silktassel - Another great native! Large shrub, to 10-20’. Garrya elliptica ‘James Roof’
Heaths & Heathers - Known in the botanical world as Erica and Calluna, great evergreen choice for the coast. Most are low and spreading.
- Evergreen shrubs, provide interesting texture (flowers too!). Sizes vary depending on variety. Hebe
Sea Buckthorn - Usually an open, mounding shrub, to 8-10’. Flowers are small, but the fruit is very showy and lasts through winter. Hippophae rhamnoides
Hydrangea - Needs rich, porous soil. Hydrangea spp.
Pacific Wax Myrtle. Evergreen shrub or tree, to 30’. Myrica californica
New Zealand Flax - Evergreen shrub that needs excellent drainage. Sizes vary by variety. Phormium tenax