Some of the important issues you may be facing when choosing your plants and even one that your local nursery may ask is what is your soil type, don’t worry this can be changed or controlled but important to know nevertheless. Different plants will thrive in acidic while others in alkali, see my post on pH value for more details. Some plants prefer it sandy as opposed to loamy, so when it comes time to consider the plants, consider the soil. It may be worth getting it professionally evaluated, check with your nursery about this. This will save you not only money but time and heart ache later.
There are many ways to improve your soil as well as change it’s pH value for example mulch, lime or even peat can have an effect on this. As long as you’re not after a major change in your soil, there’s a lot that you can do, that won’t cost an arm and a leg.
Another point to consider is to plan your garden to have blooming plants at all times, throughout the year, not just in spring or summer. This will keep your garden looking great all year round. Ensure that if you are using natives, they will survive in the area that you live, soil type, drainage and climate are all important to this plant group, and because they are often expensive you need to make sure you give them the best chance survive.
Know how much space the plant will need to grow, many shrubs and small trees will struggle with light and space and can fight each other for that. I see so many times plants that are growing into each other therefor effecting the growth and shape of each. This isn’t the best for the plant as well as the best look for your garden.
Think of the type of mulch that you would use, native shrubs and trees often don’t like pine mulch, so pick the mulch that will best suit your plants, You also want a mulch that will not break down too quickly. You need to be placing mulch approx. 75mm (3”) thick to gain any benefit of repelling weeds, keeping the moisture in as well as adding nutrients back to the soil as it breaks down, so pick the right one.