Seaside Transformation

Palm Beach

Under the combined pressure of a global pandemic and a client-driven construction schedule, Debra Yates and her design partner, Benjamin Burle, created a sophisticated and sustainable beachfront garden on the North end of Palm Beach. The garden celebrates a unique palette of native, wind and salt-tolerant plants, central to many of the duo's local stories. The naturalistic coastal garden spaces embrace the often-windblown nature of the site. Plantings are well-suited for daily salt spray and limited irrigation. Silver Buttonwood trees create a sense of shelter, shade, and shadow. Native understory trees buffer the ocean winds with ease. Sea Oats and masses of Florida dune grasses give a textured green foreground to the hues of blue beyond. Coquina sand and gray granite gravel replace the existing hedges and fake turf that demanded constant pruning and maintenance. The beachfront garden now embraces the elements with little to no maintenance interference.
Important pioneers of the Florida native plant movement were instrumental in supplying Yates Burle Studio with rare species for the site. It is quite possible that the landscape contains the highest concentration of native species on private oceanfront property in Palm Beach.

Photographs by Benjamin Burle