Coastal properties in Southland/Otago are often situated in areas of rugged beauty that offer breathtaking views but a challenging environment in terms of climate, terrain, wind exposure and soil. Many coastal properties are holiday homes with seasonal occupancy and in these cases the landscape design plan needs to take into account outdoor space requirements and ease of maintenance.
- The primary consideration is shelter against salt-laden gale winds. Shelter plants must be rugged, salt-tolerant and wind-resistant (especially in our southern climate where soils are saturated at times and plants may easily be blown over in gale winds). Shelter requirements need to be balanced with preserving scenic views. Coastal properties may be relatively small in size with close neighbours and/or nearby pedestrians so screening for privacy may also be an issue.
- Milder coastal temperatures (less frost and snow) may allow a greater choice of attractive plants in those parts of the property that have appropriate shelter. Seasonal occupancy may impose constraints requiring rugged hardy plants that are easily maintained and will survive when the owner is absent from the property. Tough resilient plants will be needed in parts of the property that border onto areas where people, children and pets are likely to be very active.
- Coastal property design may also require large areas of open space to accommodate groups of people - family, friends and visitors. Plenty of open space may be required for caravans, campervans and tents, for entertaining, and for recreational gear such as boat trailers, dinghies, kayaks, etc