Gardening can offer great rewards in both the Journey and the Finished Product.

Gardening combines science, art, history, mental therapy, physical fitness and life-long learning, but seeing the first bulbs of spring unfurl excites all passionate gardeners - inspiring them to create new pictures.

 Click here to learn how to create lovely garden vistas

The foundation of a garden is the plants. Choosing the best plant for the criteria you are trying to satisfy is always a challenge; but a challenge made far easier when you know a lot of different plants and understand the difference between each.

Most hardy evergreen plants are planted after the hottest part of the year, usually in autumn depending on your locality. This allows the root system to establish before the rapid growth of spring and the harshness of the next summer. Frost-tender plants (if planted in areas exposed to frost) are best not planted until spring, after frosts have finished. This allows them to establish before facing the harshness of the next year's frost. Very hardy plants can be planted with the same chance of success at any time. Deciduous plants are best planted in winter in all but the coldest areas (where weather conditions may not permit winter gardening activities) because they are dormant at this time. This means the risk of disturbing the plant in minimised

Area or Locality
High rainfall areas with good rich soils can be planted in at most times of the year. Areas prone to strong winds should not be planted in until after the windy time of year is over. This gives plants a chance to establish before the next windy season. Exposed, hot areas are best planted in after the hottest time of year allowing time for establishment before the next hot season. Areas prone to flooding (even if planting flood-tolerant plants) are best planted in after the wet season so that the young root system can get a firm hold on the soil before the plants grow in the next wet season. This means the young plants will have a better chance of holding in the soil when they face their first flood.

MAKE GOOD PLANT CHOICES

Create a wild appearance by using a random mix of textures in the plants, as this can make any imperfections appear more obscure. Imperfections might otherwise look out of place.

When plant foliage is a diverse mixture of different shapes, colours and textures, anything which is out of place such as a weed or patchy growth on a lawn, will tend to blend with the mix of other plant forms. When the garden is designed to have straight trimmed edges to paths or garden beds, or numbers of the one type of plant are grouped together, things which are different will stand out and become very noticeable.

Using low maintenance plants allows time to do more as well as saving on cost.

Some plant cultivars require far less attention than others. It isn't just a matter of whether a plant will survive with minimal attention though, but also whether it will look good.

Plants which require little attention in one locality may require a lot of attention in another, so your choice of plants should always consider local conditions, for example roses need to be pruned lightly several times each year in a warm climate, but in a cold climate one pruning is usually enough. Also to consider are the micro climates on your block. Match the plant to the climate AND the microclimate position in the yard.