Hi everyone. I'm a first-timer here and hope to become part of the ongoing discussions. For now, though, I have a specific question that maybe some of you can help me with.
I'll start with some background and then get into my question. My wife and I are lovers of all things nautical/coastal/beachy. Our house is a small Cape Cod style design that incorporates a lot of elements you'd find in a beach house. Our decor is 100% nautical from the rugs, to the furniture, to the wall hangings/plants/etc, and so on. Long story short, the inside of our house is exactly as we want it. Outside, though, it's a work in progress. We just built a deck that incorporates nautical rope, fish nets, buoys, etc. It's now time to shift focus to our landscaping/gardening. We've got a beautifully landscaped yard/garden, but it's not really our style. There's a lot of ivy used as ground cover, ultra tall grasses (that fit our style, but are too big), and evergreens.
Now to my ideas. I have aspirations of replacing one of our current gardens that's roughly 25' x 15' with a nautical/coastal/beachy style garden. My ideas include moving two of our pre-formed ponds to this area and using them as a focal point. Additionally, I have intentions of planting a cold-hardy palm tree (Windmill Palm, probably), a cold hardy banana, and several smaller grasses. I also want to incorporate a small boardwalk/pier leading from the grass to the bigger of the two ponds, as well as dock pilings and nautical roping.
My question is this: we're on a rather tight budget and likely will have to do this project piece by piece to be able to afford it. That said, incorporating perennials likely would help with the budget -- but I don't know what kinds would work. Additionally, I'm not sure what kinds of shrubs/plants to incorporate, as well. In general, though, I'm wondering if anyone draws up plans as a hobby or knows somewhere that might have free/cheap plans that fit some/most of the concepts (specifically the hardscape ideas) I mentioned above.
Any perennial and plant/shrub ideas, as well as planning help would be much appreciated. Additionally, I'd be thrilled to post pictures of the yard if that would be of help for suggestions. It's important to note that I'm not in a warm climate, but instead am located in the cooler parts of western Pennsylvania. Lastly, I plan to utilize reclaimed lumber for the boardwalk/pier and want to use as many reclaimed materials I can find for this project -- both for cost effectiveness and for aesthetics.
Thanks in advance, and I look forward to reading some of your responses, suggestions, and ideas.