Monday, July 31, 2023

Gardening in Seabrook


General Information 

Ric Seaberg

July 28, 2023

Today I met with a new drip irrigation client and in speaking with her, realized I should write down my thoughts about gardening in Seabrook, to possibly help new SB homeowners and residents who love gardening. 


If you dig on your property to add a plant, you may find top soil first, perhaps some gravel under that, and ultimately, clay. Clay does not drain well, and we get a lot of moisture in SB during the colder months. So it is important to plant your specimens by digging a good wide, deep hole and adding a very high quality soil for the plant to root in. 

Drip Irrigation:

Even though we experience a lot of moisture during the colder months (and sometimes in the warmer months!), the spring and summer months do dry out the soil (and pots and planters!), so if you want your plants to “thrive”, rather than just “survive” (or even wither away!), get your drip working well!

Wind and Salt:

Ah! The edge of the continent! We love the Pacific! Clamming! Running our dogs on the sand! The natural raw beauty of the coast! Even stormy weather!! But both the wind and salt can wreak havoc on plants. Certain plants do better than others in our environment and exposure to the sea. For example, when Marie and I first moved to SB, in 2018, the landscaping plan for our house on the farm included a nice planting of many climbing jasmine, on the front and side of our house, (but directly exposed to the wind), a plant we love and which we had very successfully grown in Portland. We loved that idea! But alas, by the end of our first year, all 7 of them were showing that they were not going to make it! So we pulled them all out, gave several away, and two of them we replanted behind our garage (we now call this area “The Protection Section”). Today, they are thriving and climbing up trellises I made with driftwood. Even blooming! They are on the east wall of our garage! We have also had great luck with blooming daphne in the protection section. 


Here are some plants that have proven to do well even in wind and salt. I am certain there are many others that would also do well, not included here. Try something I haven’t included!


Yarrow (yellow, pink, white)

Pine trees and shrubs 

Shasta daisies


Wild roses (Rosa)

Nine bark



Lavender (English and Spanish)




Fuschia (hardy varieties)


Curly Wurly Rush

Oak leaf Hydrangea





Western Fern (native prefer shade)




Grasses (some, not all)

New Zealand flax



Coreopsis (deer don’t like it!)

Armeria (Sea Thrift)


Primroses (best in pots)

Narcissus (daffodils)


Dogwood (Cornus, red stick and green stick, very hardy)


Wild strawberry groundcover

Creeping Jenny


Red blooming strawberry

Pink blooming strawberry 



Evergreen Clematis 

Akebia (hardy and underrated!)

Roses (best in a large well drained pot)


Kwanzan flowering cherry (bright pink)

Yoshino flowering cherry (muted pink)


White birch



Red Alder


An 18v drill driver with a mini auger attachment is a great way to break up clay soil when needed!


Pots, planters, window boxes:

Pots are a great way to add flare and color to your north beach garden. Some folks like to keep a handful of herbs out their kitchen door in a pot. Pots help certain plants that may not benefit from the hard clay soil we often find in the north beach area, because one can control the soil in the pot. Use a high quality potting soil and fill your pot to 1”-2” from the top of the pot. Then add your plants in adequate holes you dig with your hand or a trowel. Try to leave plenty of room for each plant to grow and thrive, and be sure they are planted below the top of the pot. This will allow for any irrigation you add to pool at the top of the soil and drain to the roots of the plants, rather than cascade over the top of the soil and out the top of the pot. 

Have fun gardening!!

Ric Seaberg


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Pacific Beach, Washington, United States