Answer: Identifying the micro-climates in your garden and doing some research on desired plants is a wonderful start to a fantastic garden. Plants that make good garden companions are those that share the same growing requirements. For instance, in a sunny spot with somewhat dry soil, you could plant Purple Coneflower, Coreopsis and Lavender. In a sunny spot with average to moist soil, you could grow daylilies, dahlias and cosmos. Probably the best source of information for you is a book entitled Sunset Western Garden Book. It's usually available in garden centers and nearly every library has copies. Of course you can purchase it at your favorite book store, too. Sunset Western Garden Book classifies growing zones based upon proximity to mountains, bodies of water, elevations, etc. and once you find your growing zone, you'll find lists of plants that will do well in that zone. When you look up the suggested plants, you'll find their sun/shade requirements, soil preferences and a complete description of the plant's growing habits. This one source should be all you need to design a landscape, install the plants and maintain them after planting.
Best wishes with your garden!
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