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Coastal Landscaping Designs Win Award for Excellence

Examples of landscaping design templates


Gloria Putnam, coastal resources and communities specialist,
Katie Mosher, communications director,

A set of 10 landscaping design templates, published by the Coastal Landscapes Initiative, has won an APEX Award for Excellence in the One-of-a-Kind Publications – Green category. The designs feature plants native to coastal North Carolina, indicating which species work well together and how to arrange them on coastal property.

“We’re excited that the APEX Awards recognized this collection,” says Madalyn Baldwin, the project’s lead graphic designer, who works at the Coastal Dynamics Design Lab at NC State University. “Gardening in coastal areas can be considerably challenging, and we hope these versatile native planting designs will help people achieve beautiful, low-maintenance gardens that are also environmentally friendly.”

Cover of coastal landscaping designs
Download the landscaping design guide.

Each design provides ideal site conditions; a planting blueprint; seasonal bloom or berry color; an illustration of the plantings at maturity; and maintenance tips. Designs can be modified to meet lot configurations, and alternative plant choices are suggested for flexibility.

“We wanted to help people who are interested in sustainable coastal landscaping but don’t know where to begin,” adds project manager Gloria Putnam, North Carolina Sea Grant’s coastal resources and communities specialist.

The templates were created with input from native plant experts and design professionals associated with the Coastal Landscapes Initiative, or CLI, a collaborative effort to encourage nature-enhancing landscaping. Key partners include the North Carolina Aquariums at Pine Knoll Shores and Roanoke Island and Coastal Roots Garden Design.

“Autumn is prime planting season,” Putnam adds. “As summer winds down, now’s the ideal time to take stock of the conditions on your property, pick your favorite designs, and find nurseries that carry the plants you need.”

The full guide can be downloaded at Printed packets are also available upon request. Email Gloria Putnam at, or inquire at your closest NC Cooperative Extension office or coastal North Carolina Sea Grant office in Wanchese, Wilmington or Morehead City.

For more resources on coastal landscaping, visit the Coastal Landscapes Initiative at


North Carolina Sea Grant: Your link to resources and research for a healthier coast.