There are two things that will save time and money later and are fairly critical to your chances of producing a show winning display for the village show. Or a bountiful display for the harvest festival...... Seriously though, even if you are not into all that stuff these two things will help grow beautiful flowers and lovely fresh fruit and vegetables for yourselves.
Number One is the type of soil in your garden.
The second is to measure the degree of shade or how much light shines into your garden.
Now you have worked out the type of soil and the degree of shade. Follow the links at the bottom of this page for lists of plants for types of soil and degree of shade to help select the best plants for your garden or containers. Sunny areas, Wet boggy areas or dry, even drought conditions.
I have listed plants for Woodland and Hedgerow too these are mostly plants that tolerate shade.
The simple fact is plants won't thrive in growing conditions or soil that doesn't suit them. Most herbs won't grow in mud, bog plants won't grow in sand and colourful flowers won't do well in deep shade. It is as simple as that!
Have you ever bought a favourite plant or received one as a special present and planted it only to see it fade away and die.
Plants are expensive even if you grow your own, so cost is one factor! Why waste money? Enjoyment is another and a sense of failure or achievement is important too.
There are of course other factors too:
dry / sandy soil / chalky soil / clay / window-boxes / pathways / Winter colour / slopes / bog gardens / carnivorous / ground cover / Low maintenance plants/ hanging baskets / shade / herbaceous borders