Can You Make This Into A Garden? – Modern Beachy

I had the interesting experience last night of meeting a reader of this blog who, up until our meeting, would have been a complete stranger to me.  It was an experience that I never expected or really considered and I was surprised how it caught me off guard.  Liz was in my yoga class, a class she found through my blog (or maybe with a route through the Harvard farmers market blog?) – anyway, when she introduced herself I was pretty blown away that this stranger knew me.  She told me she originally found my blog through my Can You Make This Into A Garden Series — a fact that inspires this post.  I know I have been behind on this series….these posts take a while, and I have had some in the works, but not had the time to finish one off and post it.  But knowing that Liz and others are coming to Studio ‘g’ for this feature really motivates me to finish them and put them up.  Thanks Liz!

So this latest girl seems like she might surf and she definitely lives near the beach. She is modern and edgy but with a relaxed nature that comes with living at the seaside.   The garden inspired by her is worldly, but reverent to her ocean side locale, but maintains a sleek chic quality.

modern beachy garden theme design fashion inspired

Images by secondsister, Kristin R. Johnson, hanneorla, TorontoStreet and

This scheme revolves around bright whites and crisp colors inspired by the beach.  Travertine and tile are perfect here, but fish are my favorite, they were created by Kristin R. Johnson. Here is what she says about them:

I bought these fish candle-holders in the clearance aisle of Michael’s. I took the votive candleholders out and put potting soil and sphagnum moss inside, then stuck pieces of small sedums in that I gathered from around my yard. Hopefully the sedums will take root and spread.

orange bouganvilla by by 1bluecanoe

Image by 1bluecanoe

I am struggling for planting on this….what do you think? …I think color is needed….I am imagining orange bougainvillea, but am not sure what else I would plant with it….what do you think?

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rochelle greayer

Hi, I'm Rochelle and for 18 years I have worked as a landscape designer, author/writer, and design teacher. I've designed residential and hospitality (for hotels, restaurants, and spas) gardens across the USA and in the UK, Europe and the Middle East. After many years of teaching garden design topics in person, I launched the PITH + VIGOR Boot Camp series in early 2018. Through my blog, social media, and online courses (Garden Design Bootcamp and Planting Design Boot Camp) I aim to help homeowners learn how to confidently design and create home gardens that reflect their own personal and unique style.


  1. louise garwood on September 10, 2009 at 10:29 pm

    Please see Ray Jungles Camino del Mar project on his website
    what do you think? too upscale? or ok? as partly describing the sense of sophisticated, beachy, great plant textures and forms to support garden-life by the beach. Nice images arent they?

  2. louise garwood on September 10, 2009 at 11:39 pm

    sorry- its Jungles project Camanito al Mar…

  3. Liz LC on September 11, 2009 at 10:35 pm


    This is Liz. I appreciate your creativity and window to the world of design.. This series in particular is helpful in my landscape design course, I’m about to turn a fine art painting into a garden. The least I can do say is ‘hi & thank you’ in person as you so boldly share you thoughts. I’m also so thrilled to know that great design is just down the street locally….just so cool!!

    RE: Modern Beachy – This summer I was really loving plants w/ a blue cast and white/variegated plants. A textural garden w/ those blues, whites and silver, and a few pops of color would be beautiful and soothing. – could be like a modern take on a moon garden

    Louise’s links are great – not too upscale & gorgeous. Jungle’s Casa Morada also reads like this dress.

  4. Jenn on June 10, 2010 at 10:41 pm

    Hmm. I see that lime green Nicotiania working here, esp. popping against the bougie.

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