A Guide to Choosing the Right Plants For Your Garden

July 7, 2020
Photo by Kelli McClintock on Unsplash

A beautiful garden is a wonderful way for you to fall in love with your home in a different way. Perhaps you’ve been bored during the lockdown and have started planning how to improve your outdoor area. Maybe you’ve recently moved into a property with a garden for the first time. Or, you might have gotten tired of spending all summer indoors long and want to make the most of the space. Whatever the reason, you know you can’t just start planting. A gorgeous garden takes a lot of work, and you need to know how to make the most of it. One way to do this is by planting the right plants, trees, and flowers. Whether you’re a beginner or want to make a change, here is a guide to choosing the right plants for your garden. 

Measure the Space

Before doing anything, get your tape measure out and work out how much space you have in your garden. This first step is crucial for understanding what you can and can’t plant, as well as giving you a decent idea of how much you should spend. You don’t want your garden to look too sparse, but also trying to cram in too much may not allow everything to grow properly. Once you know how large your garden is, you can create a to-scale plan so that you know where everything will go, including garden furniture and the swing set. 

Know Your Soil 

No one expects novice gardeners to know what type of soil they have, and for first-timers, this can feel incredibly complicated and overwhelming. Thankfully, it isn’t too much of a science, and you can use a pH test to check the type of soil you have. If you already have an idea and understanding of individual plants and flowers, look for any you recognise and check the labels to see what type of soil they grow in, and you’ll have your answer. After getting the answer you have been looking for, you can select plants that will thrive in the soil you have. 

Which Direction Does Your Garden Face? 

Finding out the direction your garden faces will impact the type of plants you will be able to grow. North-facing gardens are suitable for climbing hydrangeas and plantain lilies, whereas south-facing gardens will allow headbourne hybrids to thrive, as well as lavender and poppies. For west- or east-facing gardens, you can typically get along with a combination of both types of plants, as they will not get too hot in the summer sun, while still getting enough light in winter. 

Sun or Shade?

If you take a look around your garden now, you should be able to tell how much sun and shade you get. This will also impact the types of plants you purchase for your garden. Despite this, you’re likely to see more sun-loving plants and flowers at garden centres as they have more colour and are, therefore, more pleasant to look at. Roses and geraniums are popular sunny plants, whereas ferns and hosta are better for the dryness that comes with the shade. 

How Much Time Do You Have?

While it is lovely to have a garden, some plants will demand more care and attention than others. If you’re short on time, then you are better off purchasing low-maintenance plants that don’t require much watering (especially during dry summers). Conversely, if you work from home or are retired, you have plenty of time to dedicate to your garden. You can still find appealing but low-maintenance plants for some much-needed colour, so don’t worry about having a lack of colour diversity if you’re short on time. Caring for plants is also easy enough even if you’re short on time, and many potted plants will only require trimming a couple of times a year.  

Do You Have Any Pets? 

If you have pets, then a garden is a great way to train them, give them some exercise, and get them out of the house even if they aren’t going for a walk. But, some plants can be poisonous to household pets, especially dogs, so you don’t want to purchase flowers that could make them sick should they get curious and take a bite. These plants can include bluebells, azaleas, tulips bulbs, and lily of the valley, among a range of others. If you have a puppy, then it’s even more crucial to make sure you don’t buy anything poisonous. 

Get Advice From Experts

Even when you have measured your garden and purchased all the plants, flowers, and trees for your garden, you may still not have an idea of how to make the most of them. By speaking to experts such as Poplar Nurseries, you can feel more confident in your garden and plant care so you can ensure they will thrive. Garden centres such as this love when people show an interest in improving their outdoor space, so don’t be afraid to check and double-check any questions or uncertainties you have regarding what to plant and how to make the most of it. 

Will You Spend a Lot of Time There?

It’s all well and good to admire a garden from inside, but being outside in the garden during summer and mild spring and autumn evenings is much, much more satisfying. However, you can’t enjoy lots of time in your garden if you don’t have anywhere to sit. This can be a little tricky for smaller gardens, as you may have to sacrifice potting space for garden furniture. But, if you have a larger garden, then you can arrange the most attractive plants where they will be seen. Knowing where you will sit and enjoy your garden can impact the types of plants and colours you select and how you arrange them in the flower bed. 

The Green, Green Grass

There are many reasons people start gardens; they want somewhere pretty to relax in. They want to keep themselves busy on weekends, or they want something to look out at while relaxing. Whatever the reason, knowing the best plants to buy for garden success will make everything much easier to manage and be more picturesque. Whether your garden is large or small, there is a way to create the garden you’ve always dreamt of.

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