Choosing Plants and Trees

There are so many factors that you have to take into consideration when deciding what plants to buy. It is best to plan your garden in advance so that the final result will be a garden that will bring you pleasure for years to come. The following factors should be looked at while deciding what to buy:

  • Lifestyle: What kind of garden can you manage? What is your budget? What is sustainable? Remember that whatever you decide on, mulching will minimise labour and time spent weeding.
  • Garden style: What are your personal tastes? We recommend you watch gardening TV series or read gardening books or magazines to get an idea of what you might like to see in your own garden. There are many styles to choose from, e.g. native, cottage, formal etc.
  • Climate: What plants will grow well in your garden? Do some research to check your climatic growing zone. This information can be found on the internet or in most good gardening books.
  • Soil Type: What is your soil type? It is essential to check your soil type if you want to choose the right plants. Adding mulch or other organic composts will improve the nutrient levels of all soil types. Check your soil pH. For more detailed information, please read the page ‘Soil Types’.
  • Sun/Shade: How much sunlight does your garden get? Observe your garden through the daytime to see which areas are sunny and which are shady and how this changes through the course of a day and through the change of seasons. It is absolutely vital to choose the appropriate plants for a specific location or you run the risk of losing plants.
  • Water: How much water is available in your area? How much rainfall do you receive in the wet season? Some plants need a lot of water to thrive while others can survive dry periods once established. Always consider the environment when selecting your plants.
  • Choosing trees: What tree is best for your chosen location? Trees can be a wonderful focal point in any garden but there are some important points to consider before deciding what trees to plant. Consider the following: What mature size tree will be suitable for your garden? Do you want the tree to provide shade? Should it be deciduous to allow winter sun into the garden? Will the leaf litter be a problem in winter? Should it be evergreen to provide shelter or screening? What kind of root structure does the tree have? Will the roots affect paving, foundations, pipes and drains? Once you’ve answered these questions you can then proceed and find the right tree to provide just what you are looking for. You may also select a native tree to encourage birds into your garden. Of course, trees have many wonderful features so try to base your decision on a combination of the above factors.