There are favourite plants - for the beauty of their flower, colour of the bark, fragrance, attraction of berries for birds and low maintenance- these play a role while making a planting plan but the following three criteria are essential for a long term success. There is always the right plant for a spot but sometimes you can find a better one...
Foliage plants:
Leaves remain on even deciduous plants for 8 - 10 months. Also they provide seasonal interest, think of transparently fresh leaves of beech trees in the spring or how autumn colours of maples make them seem on fire. I love combining different textures, shapes and colours of ‘foliage plants’ for all year round interest. Some can be enhanced through various pruning techniques (see examples at ‘Tree sculpting’): Stooling (cutting back hard in spring to get very large leaves) or clipping the (density of a small leafed plant, creating a sharp edge to the shape). Contrasts of these two can be as eye catching as a rose in full bloom! 

Drought resistance:  
If you aren’t a Londoner and don’t remember the hose pipe ban in summer 2007 (watering the garden was allowed only by watering can) you might never the less know about the problem we are facing: Fresh water will be a luxury- water bills as well as our planet  demand us to stop  wasting it. Solutions are collecting rain and grey water, mulching to prevent evaporation from the soil surface and the use of drought resistant plants.  Lavender and the Olive tree are just two of popular plants that don’t require irrigation during droughts. 
Pest resistance:  
We hear regularly of yet another virus, bug or fungal disease to wipe out entire species. More new strains arrive and survive through the increasingly mild winters. Whose rose is without aphids, mildew or black spot unless regularly sprayed with pesticides and fungicides? I won’t plant these for knowing what damage the chemicals do to wildlife (bees-where are you?) Look further- plants from the Mediterranean for example-and use those that could thrive here in future. Especially when choosing trees! The best green spaces provide pleasure and space for people – but at the same time don’t put natural resources into jeopardy – for generations to enjoy!
 Abbaye Du Pontlevoy London Huttensbusch Containers Mine
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Abbaye Du Pontlevoy London Huttensbusch Containers Mine