Here is a question for you to consider…
are you a gardener for practicality or for beauty?
Because whichever one you decide you’re going to plant involves different plant choices and maintenance practices. Your chances for a successful garden could hinge on the answer you decide proceed with.
For the gardener who is concerned most with Visual Appeal, then your gardening starts with picking plants that appeal to you the most. Then you will combine them and the environment you’ve chosen for them to grow to their fullest potential. Maintenance practices will also be different. Your primary goal is to achieve lush foliage and showy flowers. This will require more precise pruning and dead-heading. Your fertilizing will need to be more specific for blooming plants
For a basic Green Landscape the goal will be to maintain your plants in a healthy condition where they can be pruned and fertilized regularly. Attention to detail isn’t as required in this situation.
For the Sustainable Garden, or one that gives back, you may find more research is needed. It’s not as simple as going to the garden center and picking plants. You need to about know the plants you’re picking. Do they need full sun? What insects are they prone to? When and how do you apply proper harvest methods? It’s extremely important with a sustainable garden to know what type of pesticides and fertilizers you are using. You want to be as organic as possible, using products that have little to no residual effect. Don’t forget, at some point you will want to harvest these products for eating.
Many people have a limited space for gardening and will combine all three types of gardens into one area and is perfectly doable. You need to be focused on details, because in a mixed garden, one little problem quickly grow in to a major problem that can devastate your fruit or flower harvest.
Take a few minutes before you go to the garden center and draw out on a piece of paper how much space you’re giving your garden. Then decide how much of that space you want to give up for each type of plants. Walk out and look at the area you will plant. Be sure you have easy access for getting your plants and materials back to the garden. Then check the soil; do you need to add to it? Is a little peat moss needed, or is simply turning over the soil and loosening it up enough?
Being properly prepared before you go select your plant material will save you many steps down the road.
By planning ahead, you will enjoy your garden to the fullest.