How to choose plants for my garden?

View of a garden

View of a garden

Are you wondering how to choose the plants for my garden? The truth is that this is a question that, the more you delve into the subject, the more interesting it becomes. In the world in which we live there are different types of plant beings, and all of them have known how to adapt very well to the conditions that their respective habitats have had over the years, which may have been millions.

Thanks to this phenomenon, today we know that there are plants that live a few months, and others that have a life expectancy of several thousand years. This is important to know, especially when we want to design a garden or patio, so we are going to talk at length about this topic.

What types of plants are there in the world?

When you are going to design a garden, you first have to know how many plants there are. Well, botanists have discovered, for the moment, a few 298.000 species. There are many more subspecies and cultivars, thousands or millions, many of them being used as ornamental plants. But, of course, being such a large number and belonging to such a diverse group of beings, humans have no choice but to classify them in some way.

And when designing a garden, the classification that is most used, as it is more practical, is that of the number of months and years they live:

Annual plants

Poppy in the field

poppy in the field

Annual plants are those that live a few months. They usually germinate in late winter / early spring, flower in spring / summer, bear fruit in fall, and die in winter.

They are characterized by being herbaceous, very fast growing and normally with very beautiful colored flowers, such as the poppy, sunflower or the impatiens.

Biannual plants

Parsley in cultivation

parsley in cultivation

Biannual plants are those who live a little less than two years. During the first, they germinate and grow, and during the second they flower – usually in spring -, fruit in spring / summer and die in autumn / winter.

Compared to annuals, these are rarer, although no less important for humans: parsley, thought or angelica.

Perennial plants

Heucheras in a garden

Heucheras in a garden

Perennial plants are herbaceous plants thatenter into the perennials since their roots are kept alive underground, but as during winter they lose their leaves and stemsare considered a different type of plants.

Examples of vivacious there are many: lupins, dicentra, heuchera, Limonium …


Group of geraniums in bloom

Group of geraniums in bloom

Perennials are those that live more than two years. In practice, it is a term that refers more to herbs (and megaforbs, such as palms or the muses) or to small bushes that, like the geraniums or carnations, they keep their leaves throughout the season.

But the truth is that, being rigorous, large trees and shrubs would also enter here, although these, as we are going to see, are classified in a somewhat different way.

Trees and shrubs

The Platanus x acerifolia is largeThe Platanus x acerifolia is large

Image – Wikimedia / UiiAhlvers

Trees and shrubs are two types of perennials that, although they are different, they do have many things in common, one of the main ones being the behavior of the leaf: if they all fall at some point in the year, they are said to be deciduous or deciduous, but if they gradually fall throughout the season, they are said to be evergreen or evergreen. In between there is another type: semi-deciduous, which are those species that partially lose their crown leaves.

Examples of evergreen trees and shrubs

  • Citrus (citrus, such as orange trees, mandarins, lemon trees, etc.)
  • Cotoneaster
  • cedar (cedar)
  • Juniperus
  • Taxus (yew)
  • Pinus (Pine tree)

Examples of deciduous trees and shrubs

How to choose the most suitable for the garden?

Now that we know all the types of plants there are, it’s time to talk about tips . For a garden to be well designed, it is very, very important to take into account the following:


Fortunately, no climate is the same. There are some warmer, others colder, others more humid, drier … Depending on the weather conditions in an area, we can choose a type of plants or others. For example, here are several listings:

Plant function in the garden (hedge, isolated specimen, filler)

Delonix regia tree

Delonix regia tree

There are plants that, due to their resistance to pruning, are very interesting as hedges, but there are others, generally trees with great attractiveness and bearing, which are planted as isolated specimens.. Then there are others that are put “as fillers”: they are the ones that are very popular, they are very decorative, but their real function is more to finish giving movement and life to the garden, such as subshrubs such as the lavender essence
, or the bulbous flowers.

Here are some ideas:

  • Hedge plants: cotoneaster, laurel, cypress, oleander, and many more.
  • Plants to have as an isolated specimen: trees of large size or that give a lot of shade, such as Quercus, the fake banana, the horse chestnut, or the flamboyan, among others.
  • Plants to fill: bulbous, vivacious.

Is it a low maintenance garden? Bet on native plants

Low-maintenance gardens are those that only need some occasional care from the second year that the plants have been planted in the ground. For this reason, when looking for a garden like this there is nothing like buying native plants, that is, species of plant beings that are typical of your area.

These They are the ones that will give you the least problems, those that you will have to water the least, and those that will have the least pests and diseases. In this article we talk about its advantages:

native plants are good for the gardennative plants are good for the garden

Related article:

Native versus non-native plants for your garden

An alternative would be to look for plants that live in climates similar to yours, but that requires doing a research work .

What flowers to put in the garden?

Yellow tulips

yellow tulips

A garden without flowers is not complete, so we couldn’t finish this article without talking to you about them. As we told you before, there are annual, biannual and perennial plants, and all of them (along with trees and shrubs) produce flowers: some bloom in spring, others in summer and others, less so, in autumn.

Therefore, to know which ones to put, you need to know which ones bloom in each season of the year:

  • Spring Summer: primrose, marigold, pansies (early spring), sage, cinerary, verbena, petunia.
  • Summer: agapanthus, antirrhinum, crocosmia, digitalis, gazania, lobelia, marigolds, etc.
  • Autumn Winter: wallflower, hydrangea, rose bush, chrysanthemum, aster, alstroemeria, etc

Where to put them?

You can put them on the roadsides, in hanging pots, in tires, … wherever you like them the most! provided they are in a bright area. Don’t forget to water them from time to time so they don’t get dehydrated .

Plants in children's toysPlants in children's toys

Related article:

Original recycled pots

Enjoy your garden!

How to choose plants for my garden?

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