Determining the type of plants for your landscaped garden can be a confusing affair. It is also fraught with risks, as the wrong selections could cost you time and money. Numerous considerations must be factored in when making your decision and the aesthetic appearance of plants should not be the decisive factor. Maintenance time and resistance and adaptability to climate (rain and cold, for instance) are far more important factors.
Your choice must also complement your overall objective and theme. Would the plants be used to add colour to your existing garden? Are they meant to provide privacy to your home? How would the roots affect the integrity and stability of any artificial ornaments such as water fountains, statues and bridges? Will any of the plants (typically herbs) be used for cooking and consumption? Will there be someone at home to regularly water and maintain the plants?
The following are great examples of plants that fill specific user requirements:
If you’re concerned with cold weather, olive trees are you friends. They are not affected by sub-zero temperatures, although prolonged exposure (as in, period of months) or temperatures dropping below -10°C will damage them. You shouldn’t expect the trees to produce any great olives as, aside from the weather, the variants used in the UK are bred for looks, not fruit. Olive trees tend to dominate gardens and front yards, so if you would like to constrain its influence, check out the Elaeagnus genus, which are smaller olive trees with shrub-like appearance.
Hart’s Tongue Fern
Hart’s tongue fern is a popular choice for small gardens. It thrives in shaded areas, and requires little maintenance once mature. Its green fronds unfurl right around spring, and will turn your garden shiny as the oil coating the fronds are great light reflectors. With proper placement, you can demarcate the area around your property with shiny green fences! No disrespect to other ferns in the family, but the asplenium scolopendrium variant is the best one for British climes.
Cypress trees require very little maintenance, yet will always be the star of any Mediterranean-themed gardens with its evergreen year-round foliage. This hardy tree requires no regular watering, but it is advisable to refresh it during extreme heat and droughts. It also serves as great anchors and focal points to herb plants and flower beds due to the shade it provides. Rosmarinus officinalis lavandulaceus is the good-looking one in the cypress family, owing to its purplish-blue flowers, so keep an eye on that genus.
Famed for its repeat bouquets of beautiful soft pink flowers, the rosa bonica is a surprisingly hardy rose plant with strong resistance to common diseases. However, to maintain its production of stunning roses, you must meticulously maintain it every spring and summer. Mulch, fertilisers and removing dead stems is a must to get the loveliest of roses.
For those who own large gardens, English lavenders are must-haves. Even several parallel rows of lavenders can turn gardens into works of art. The stunning purple flowers that rise above the thick green foliage, coupled with the lovely scent, is a marvel of nature and the personification of the English garden.