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How to Choose What to Plant in Your Garden

Many homeowners buy their homes based on the presence of a garden, or the possibility to cultivate one on a new lot. However, all gardens require a certain amount of planning and upkeep depending on the type of garden you choose, so it's best to choose what to plant in your garden based not only on personal preference, but also on the local climate, your budget, and how much time you want to spend gardening. The following steps will show you how to make informed decisions when it's time to choose what to plant in your garden.

1. Determine what types of plants grow naturally in your climate to determine the style of garden you want. Though this isn't a foolproof way to guarantee a thriving garden, it will maximize the chances of the plants doing well without having to resort to artificial climate creation, such as a greenhouse. A Mediterranean garden with olive trees will be much harder to maintain in a cold climate, while an English rose garden will require a lot of extra irrigation in a warm climate.

2. Consider how much sun and shade you have in your garden. Your neighbor's home, your own home and any outbuildings, as well as existing trees or shrubs, may cast shadows where you want to plant, so take this into account when choosing what to plant in your garden.

3. Choose garden plants that create textures and layers. This makes the garden more interesting to look at and offers more depth than garden plants that are all the same type or height.

- Evergreen shrubs and trees offer color and structure all year round, which means that your garden will never look completely bare.

- Trees add height, color, and interesting shapes to your garden. Deciduous trees are especially interesting to provide accents that change with every season, as they bud, bloom, and finally shed their leaves.

- Shrubs can act as filler between trees or larger plants, and can be beautiful additions to your garden in their own right. There are evergreen shrubs and deciduous shrubs, as well as shrubs that flower.

- Ground covering plants are sprawling and remain low to the ground. Consider how thickly and quickly they grow to determine how effective they will be in your garden.

- Climbing plants, such as vines, provide texture and cover for walls, decorative elements, and any eyesores you want to cover.

- Perennials bloom every year and come back each year. Annuals die after a year, and cumulatively cost more as you have to replace them every year.

4. Determine whether you need to avoid potentially dangerous plants, such as shrubs with poisonous berries, if you have children or pets.

5. Visit your local gardening center and choose what to plant in your garden

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