Creating a Garden on the North Devon Coast
Living on the beautiful North Devon coast brings with it a multitude of problems for those wishing to create and maintain a garden, with high winds, salt laden air and extremes of temperature. There is however an advantage over those gardening further inland as the winter temperatures tend to be slightly higher and ground frost are rare, which opens up a range of plants from more temperate climates to be grown.
The soil is usually very shallow sitting on top of a layer of compacted shillet or open and very sandy.
On shillet or stone based soils, remove any top soil for use later, then using a pneumatic or electric breaker drill dig down 300 to 450mm and remove the stone or shillet in the areas that you intend to plant, but make sure that these areas are larger than just the planting hole. If the areas are small they will act as water collecting points and rot the plants roots as well as constricting the root growth.
Any shillet material that has been removed can be used as a sub base under pathways that are intended for light use.
Once the shillet has been removed add plenty of well-rotted organic material into the areas and then add a layer of good quality top soil mixed with some fine grit ready for planting.
After planting up the areas mulch with a generous layer of mulch which will help evaporation in the summer,