USDA plant hardiness zone map to ensure the plants can withstand the cold temperatures in your area.
Shorter perennial flowering plants that grow 1 to 3 feet tall and are suitable for a seaside garden
Hardy ice plant (Delosperma cooperi) displays purple blooms and grows to about 6 inches tall in USDA zones 6 to 10. Shore juniper (Juniperus conferta), hardy in USDA zones 5 to 9, grows to 1 foot tall and spreads to about 6 feet. October Daphne (Sedum sieboldii), an evergreen in zones 6 to 9, grows 6 to 12 inches tall and has blue-green foliage.
Geranium (Pelargonium spp.) grows 1 to 2 feet tall and produces blooms of pink, white, or red. Begonia (Begonia semperflorens) grows 18 inches tall in full sun to part shade and produces blooms in shades of pink. Pot marigolds (Calendula officinalis), with blooms of orange or yellow, grow to 9 inches tall. These annual flowers make excellent container plants, making it easy to take them to a sheltered area when stormy weather threatens.
Special care for seaside gardens
John Bickerton and Graham Clarke explain in their book, Coastal Gardens, that sea breezes can carry salty droplets as much as 30 miles inland. The authors add, "salt spray is most damaging to plants growing within 1,000 feet of the shoreline." Usually, rainfall or spritzing the plants with the garden hose is all it takes to rinse away the potentially damaging effects of a seaside breeze. Plant an evergreen hedge, such as Indian Hawthorne (Rhaphiolepis indica), as a windbreak if desired.