Knowing your Area and Choosing the Correct Plants for it.
A lot is written about micro-climates and the importance of establishing how this may affect your area. You may be lucky enough to find a zoning map with particular reference your area, either online, at your local library. There is however no substitute for observation and common sense.
A little bit of research could very well show you that due to a particular kind of land-form, greater than average exposure to the prevailing wind and an abundance of a particular rock-form, you may be able to grow plants that you wouldn’t normally see outside your micro-climate area. Very local conditions can give rise to unexpected possibilities when it come to plant selection.
All sorts of variations make a difference, height above sea level, solar access, the presence of a nearby forest or a local lake.
Always however, the key to success is observation and conversation with gardeners in your area. Chat informally, gardeners are usually a sociable group of people, or join a local garden club. You’ll soon begin to develop an understanding of your local climate and what you can grow in it.
It is also invaluable to establish a relationship with a good nursery-person or other professional plants-person. You will always learn something from them each time you speak together. Do however be aware that some owners of plant supply companies may simply be interested in selling what they have available rather than what might be best for your garden. It is usually best to equip yourself with as much of your own knowledge as possible before you start.
While doing research in your local area, you can also take some notes on the type of native planting that grows there.
Native planting by its nature has evolved or adapted to your local conditions leaving you with very little to do except to replicate these conditions in your garden. You will save some money and at the same time do your bit for environmental conservation.
Please be careful to obtain your native plants from your garden centre or plant nursery and do not collect them from the wider landscape.