Many plants are quite individual in their preferred planting place. To have the best growing results, it is important to pick the right plant for your growing conditions. There are a large group of easy to grow plants which are not fussy, but there are also some very popular garden plants which are fussy. When these are planted in the wrong conditions they will not thrive.
Different plants suit different growing conditions. For example, there are plants suitable to boggy conditions, others demand dry well-drained soil. Many plants are fully hardy and will withstand the worst of our winters; but equally there are plants hardy plants which are damaged by chill winds, or winter wet, and a huge group which are not frost hardy at all.
We all know plants like sun, and that some plants will tolerate and grow in the shade, but soil type can also matter. Illustrated right is a Camellia which is a case in point. Camellias belong to a group of plants which only grow in ericaceous or acid soil. Included in this group are Rhododendrons, Azalea, Pieris, Japanese Maple, and Magnolia and they will only thrive on ericaceous soil. If your soil is not acid it is necessary to plant them in a container filled with ericaceous soil. From this example you can see why you need to know put the right plant in the right place. How do you know if your soil is acid? You can either buy a soil testing kit, or sneak a look next door and see what your neighbour is growing.
Looking at your garden and thinking about what to plant, you need information about the soil: acid, alkaline, Clay, Sandy, Silty, Peat, Chalk and Loamy are the main types.
Some further food for thought is to consider the path of the sun through your garden. From this you can work out the areas are the sunniest and warmest, and often the most sheltered. You can plot the shady areas in the garden, and those areas which are colder and more exposed.
Plants are expensive, and plant labels in garden centres are often less than informative. It is worth knowing your garden layout and looking up plants in the library or online to find detailed growing information.