Tips for Choosing Plants for Your Garden

Forest gardening involves selecting a wide range of plants and combining them in ways that benefit us, as well as natural systems.

Sometimes, no matter how experienced we are as gardeners, it is a good idea to get back to basics. So today, let’s take the time to think about some of the important considerations in choosing plants for your garden.

Choose Plants For Your Environment

First of all, of course, it is important to select the right plants for the right places. That involves thinking about:

  • Climate (Both current climate and expected climate changes.)
  • Microclimate conditions in your particular garden.
  • Soil type, pH, fertility etc…

Choose Plants for You and Your Family

It is also important to think about yourself and your household. In permaculture, our goal is always to obtain a yield – though of course that yield can come in a range of different forms.

Make sure you take your own needs, preferences and desires into account when making plant choices for your garden. Don’t just select plants that are ideal for the environment – make sure they are right for human inhabitants too. For example, when it comes to food plants – there is no point planting lots of kale if you and your family don’t actually like to eat it…

Choose Plants for Wildlife

We should also remember that we are not the only ones using our gardens. The plants we select should not only suit the environment and be useful or appealing to us, they should also be chosen for wildlife.

Choose Plants for Other Plants

It is important to think holistically – not making each decision in an insular way. We should think about how our plant choices combine to create an overall effect. How will a plant we choose interact not only with wildlife but also with other plants in its vicinity? Companion plants can often aid their neighbours in a range of ways – from providing nutrients, shade or ground cover, to repelling pests, to attracting pollinators or other beneficial wildlife.

Choose Plants for Our Planet

Finally, when we choose plants for our own gardens, no matter how small they may be, we should think about the wider environment. By choosing plenty of plants to boost biodiversity, we can help fight biodiversity loss. And we can all do our bit to fight climate change by managing soil sustainably, and choosing plenty of trees, shrubs and other perennial plants to sequester carbon in your garden.

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