If you intend to design your garden on your own, you should consider what shrubs and flowers to choose to make it look beautiful. Plants are essential elements of any garden. They emphasize its appearance, define the style, and make the garden stand out from its surroundings. Therefore, it is worth paying particular attention to them and thoroughly delving into the question: how to choose plants for the garden?
The first thing that comes to mind when choosing the plants for your garden is their decorative nature. Meanwhile, plants have a number of other properties and roles that they can fulfil in your garden. They can, for example, create beautiful and secluded corners.
Arranging a garden can be a great adventure, but only if you prepare a good plan. It is not as simple as it might seem. To choose shrubs for your garden, you first need to know plants’ needs and preferences that you can check at Beesley & Fildes, how they grow, and how they should be arranged.
Below you will find a short guide on the principles of selecting plants for the garden.
What Flowers to Choose for a Shaded Garden
Your garden’s unfavourable location in terms of sunlight’s availability does not make the lawn the only way out—many shrubs like semi-shaded or even dark spots. Coniferous shrubs will certainly grow well there.
European yew (Taxus baccata) is a shrub that grows slowly but is very weather-resistant and does not need much sun. It likes a moist environment and rather alkaline, although not necessarily fertile soil. It’s prone to frost, but the snow caps can deform or break it, so it’s worth shaking it off. It does not fare well during droughts, so you should remember to water it.
The Japanese thuja (Thuja standishii) has interesting “leaves” that look like they are covered with scales. It looks very similar to a cypress tree, but unlike it, it slightly changes colour for winter – the ends of the shoots temporarily turn reddish. There are few requirements for the type of soil, although it is best if it is fertile and slightly acidic.
Flowering Shrubs for the Garden
Once we have planted plants in more problematic areas of the garden, it is time to choose the most beautiful, but often also more demanding plants. Shrubs with flowers as the decoration usually need good soil and a sunny position.
Common lilac (Syringa vulgaris) begins to bloom in May and does not stop until October. The flowers form pink-red clusters, and when they bloom, they turn lilac. It has a very intense fragrance. The bush tolerates drought and heat well, likes slightly moist and relatively fertile soil.
Rhododendron is a wonderful shrub that comes in almost a hundred colour varieties and, apart from the acidic and fertile soil, is not too demanding. It is a green plant all year round. When it blooms, it’s hard to take your eyes off it. It also delights with its scent. It is worth planting several shrubs next to each other to emphasize the beauty of each of them. If you are a cat owner, you should not plant rhododendrons in your garden because the plant is very poisonous to these animals.
Hydrangea (Hydrangea macrophylla) is flowering beautifully from June to September. Its interesting feature is that the flowers’ colour depends on the pH of the soil – they will be intensely blue on acid soil, and the higher the pH, the pinker they become, up to the shades of purple. They do not lose their colour after cutting, and they keep their shape very well, so they can also be enjoyed in winter. Note – do not cut the entire shoot because it won’t grow a new flower next year. Hydrangeas grow well in fertile and light soil, in a semi-shaded and moist position.
Edible Shrubs for the Garden
In the garden, apart from beautiful shrubs, we can also plant fruit bushes. They are neither difficult to cultivate nor too demanding when it comes to conditions.
Raspberries and blackberries like the sun, but otherwise don’t have any major requirements, will grow well next to the fence. However, you have to be careful that they do not grow too much because they will dominate other plants.
Fruit bushes are not as glamorous as flowers, but the satisfaction with your own harvest is priceless. All these fruits can be eaten straight from the bush, and you can make delicious preserves for the winter.
When designing a garden, take into account the different roles of plants and immediately define what you expect from them and what qualities they should bring to your garden. Are they only supposed to “look beautiful” or do you expect something more?
Also, don’t forget that plants change overtime during certain seasons of the year. For example, if you want your garden to be green during the whole year, pick coniferous trees and shrubs that never lose their green needles. There are plenty of plants to choose from, and they will surely make your garden look unique!