- Choose plants that are suited to your conditions: consider your climate, soil and local conditions.
- Choose carefully based on your conditions rather than quickly making decisions at your local garden centre.
- Consider plants that you can make the most of for the whole 12 months of the year. If you choose plants that looked good in the garden centre in July you will have nothing for the other months!
- Knowing the aspect of your garden, whether it faces north, south, east or west (and therefore the amount of shade and temperature), will affect your design and plant choice.
- Winds can be highly destructive. Find the direction of the prevailing wind. Plant accordingly.
- Many plants will not survive frost and will die in the winter. Choose hardy plants if the temperature can drop below zero unless planting is for short term only, for example, vegetable annuals.
- Make the most of microclimates.
- For a shady site choose plants that like shade for a sunny site choose plants that like sun!
- Checking your soil pH. Some plants grow well in acid soil, some in alkaline.
- Plant for your soil. Clay is usually extremely fertile as it holds nutrients well. However it excludes air and can become easily waterlogged. Sandy soil does not hold nutrients well but are well drained. Choose your plants for your conditions.
- Improve your soil.
- Mulch or choose a good groundcover.
- Look at what you have and what grows well. Count your blessings.
- See what is doing well in your neighbours gardens.
- Find out about propagation. Free plants create a big high!
- Use annuals to fill gaps in the short term.
- Go for what you like.
- Think ahead. Trees and canopies will cast shade later. Roots can damage buildings. Something small in size now can become a problem later.
- Choose plants that need less water/care.
- Use native plants they have evolved well to deal with your local conditions and provide the right habitat for local wildlife.
- Remember: Right Plant: Right Place.
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