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In the enchanting coastal area of Mount Desert Island, where the rugged beauty of Maine meets the opulence of luxurious living, an extraordinary landscape awaits. For homeowners seeking to transform their properties into idyllic outdoor havens, designing coastal landscapes that seamlessly blend with the natural surroundings becomes an art form. In this blog post, we will explore the key considerations, recommended plant choices, and sustainable practices that turn ordinary spaces into breathtaking outdoor oases.

Key Considerations for Coastal Landscape Design

When designing landscapes in the coastal MDI area, several key considerations play a pivotal role in crafting the perfect outdoor oasis. First and foremost, the length of the season demands resilient and hearty plants that can brave the elements. Think of early bloomers, like crocuses, and plants that thrive in full sun and drought conditions, such as sedum, stonecrop, and English lavender. Incorporating trees and shrubs like evergreen holly, rhododendrons, and spruce ensures that the landscape maintains its allure throughout the year.

The location of the property in relation to the forceful winds and salt air of the Atlantic Ocean is equally important. Opt for salt-tolerant options like heather and rugosa roses, and when the area permits, consider unique plant choices to add a touch of exclusivity to the design. Additionally, make the most of natural assets like granite outcroppings and boulders, using them as centerpieces for new beds or creating a stunning backdrop for the overall landscape.

During the cold winter months, the placement of snow banks becomes a vital aspect of coastal landscape design. Although homeowners may not have direct control over where the snow is deposited by snowplow drivers, at Arra Homescaping, we exercise caution to protect the delicate plants and trees we know are thoughtfully planted. Considering factors like the slope of the land, curve of the driveway, garage angles, house entrances, and fuel delivery spots, we strategically position hardy perennials, such as peonies, lilies, irises, hostas, ferns, and ornamental grasses, away from potential snowplow deposits. 

Recommended Plant Choices for Coastal Climate

In the coastal climate of MDI, the artful selection of plants can transform a landscape into a captivating masterpiece. For properties nestled within the forest, our approach centers on preserving the natural charm while seamlessly integrating the house with nature. Embrace the allure of native blueberry sod, hay-scented ferns, mugo pines, and spruce trees, crafting an illusion of timelessness and untamed beauty. Additionally, we strategically plant rhododendrons and hydrangeas in proximity to this setting, as their roots flourish in the naturally acidic environment created by the falling and decomposition of pine needles. By curating such plant choices, we elevate the landscape to harmonize perfectly with its surroundings, ensuring a breathtaking sight that evokes the pure essence of nature’s splendor.

For properties with oceanfront, the design can be tailored to suit the owner’s preferences and the home’s age. Consider using classic options like peonies (a whimsical choice), English roses (classic and graceful), potentilla or spirea, gooseneck, lady’s mantle, heather, and junipers. Or, we simply embrace a more flexible approach to match the homeowner’s vision and enhance the home’s architectural style.

Sustainable Practices in Coastal Landscape Design

Here at Arra Homescaping, embracing sustainability and environmentally-friendly practices is a guiding principle in crafting coastal landscapes. Consider the needs of the local wildlife when choosing plants, benefiting bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds by planting foxglove, echinacea, catmint, and veronica. Creating a habitat for these essential pollinators enriches the ecosystem while adding a delightful touch of life to the landscape.

Using organic matter from the property to create compost sections benefits both the environment and homeowners, enriching garden beds with nourishing nutrients. Furthermore, installing plants that thrive in the local climate helps conserve water and reduces the need for excessive irrigation.

Examples of Transformative Landscape Projects in Mount Desert Island

At Arra Homescaping, our team has had the privilege of transforming numerous properties into captivating outdoor oases. One example involves planting along a steep slope abutting the ocean, where we selected plants like Cesky Gold dwarf birch, low scape aronia, and Bar Harbor juniper to stabilize the soil, bloom beautifully, and frame the homeowner’s property with elegance and grace.

In another project, we transformed an overgrown area into a low-maintenance garden alongside a rock retaining wall, adjacent to a wild forest. The garden featured a vibrant array of purple blooms, artfully accentuating the forest’s greenery while creating an inviting pathway between the home and the woods. In this case, we used plants that thrived in full sun, were drought-tolerant, and deer-resistant. It was a very naturalized property, the wild working in tandem with the developed. The garden bed we created was the border between the developed and the natural and wild, so it became both naturally thriving yet elegant. 

Our expertise extends to creating stunning ornamental grass beds for homeowners residing adjacent to golf courses. These designs embrace a minimalistic and subtle approach, evoking a sense of timeless elegance. Our artistic vision extends to strategically installing patios near side doors and dining rooms, seamlessly connecting indoor and outdoor spaces. These well-appointed patios become lively hubs for life’s moments to unfold. Surrounding these inviting spaces, our carefully-crafted gardens add depth and character to the landscape. We take pride in constructing rock walls that gracefully meander around crushed stone driveways, effortlessly welcoming visitors to the property. Additionally, we nestle these walls gently into the woods, artfully delineating property lines. 

For new constructions, we perform massive sod installations and garden implementations, elevating the site to match the grandeur of a well-established property. The result is a welcoming and proper ambiance that brings the landscape to life, enhancing the overall appeal of the homeowner’s sanctuary.

Final Thoughts

Designing coastal landscapes in the Mount Desert Island area is an art that marries the splendor of nature with the desires of affluent homeowners. By carefully considering the local climate, the property’s natural assets, and the homeowners’ preferences, our landscape artists can create outdoor oases that transform ordinary spaces into extraordinary living environments.

Whether it’s embracing resilient plants, incorporating natural elements, or promoting sustainability, coastal landscape design provides homeowners with a unique opportunity to craft breathtaking outdoor spaces that reflect the allure of MDI’s coastal charm. Through thoughtful design and skillful execution, Arra Homescaping brings dreams to life, creating outdoor havens where homeowners can escape to serenity and delight in the beauty of living art.