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