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Waterfront Plants

Four best bets for planting in a waterfront area.

Michael Weishan visited a waterfront home in Victoria, British Columbia, where owners David and Elaine Whitehead have transformed what was once a sheep farm covered with blackberry bushes and thistle into a thriving garden. Here are some of their Best Bets for planting in a waterfront area, where growing conditions are often less than ideal.

oakleaf hydrangea

Adiantum pedatum

maidenhair fern

Maidenhair fern is a fast growing and easy-to-care-for plant that makes a nice decorative addition to any garden. Given a cool, moist area with part to full shade, maidenhair fern will grow to a height of 12 to 26 inches.

Hosta sieboldiana

Hosta sieboldiana grows to 36 inches in part to full shade and moist soil. It has large 20-inch leaves and pale lilac flowers in the summer.


rock rose

Rock rose is a low-growing evergreen shrub that looks especially nice when it spreads and falls over a stone wall. It requires full sun and produces masses of red, orange, yellow or white flowers throughout the summer.

Arbutus menziesii


Native to the coast ranges of the Northwest, madrone is an excellent tree for waterfront areas. Because its foliage grows at the top of the tree—leaving the trunk bare—madrone will not obscure your view of the water. Madrone grows to an average height of 25 feet and does best in the shade, although it will tolerate some sun.

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This segment appears in show #2813.

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Published August 31, 2007