These great plants stand up to coastal conditions beautifully.
Pride of Madeira (Echium candicans)
Actually from Madeira, this plant produces wonderful spikes of blue-purple flowers along the coast in poor soil and with practically no extra water. Bees love it.
Bright orange flower and big, purplish, banana-like leaves links seaside gardens with the tropics. Just don't plant it where wind will shred the leaves.
Shore pine (Pinus contorta contorta)
This Northwest coastal native makes a terrific windbreak, and takes well to shearing (like Japanese pines).
Crocosmia 'Emily McKenzie'
Has grassy leaves and elegant orange flowers with a red eye. Multiplies and spreads from corms with little care beyond occasional weeding.
This 5-foot tall, 4-foot wide perennial produces its sky-blue flowers from summer through fall with little care. Spreads by rhizomes.
Purple fountain grass (Pennisetum setaceum 'Rubrum')
Growing 5 feet tall and wide, its soft, feathery flower heads sway in the slightest breeze.
Colorful and long-flowering in mild weather along the coast.
An artichoke relative (obvious when you look at the two plants side by side), this has edible stems and thistle-like flowers. But most people grow it for its architectural good looks. It gets very tall (to 12 feet) in the Northwest. Do not plant in mild-winter climates, where it has become an invasive weed.
Tall and slender, this perennial sways in the wind and delivers a lovely blue haze of flowers through much of summer. It also self sows in the garden without being a pest.