Everybody has their own favourite plants – trees, dwarf conifers, heathers, rockery plants, bog garden plants, or favourite flowers such as sweet peas, roses, lilies, irises, and thousands of others.
Make provision for your favourites in terms of space and suitable conditions. Favourite plants can influence other aspects of the garden design. For example, an interest in climbing roses, or clematis, will necessitate fences, trellis or walls on which to grow them.
Some choices will rule out others; it is not possible to fill the garden with trees and still have a decent lawn, or rockery with alpine plants, because of the shade they cast, but it would be possible to have a fernery, for instance.
As with plants, everybody has favourite garden features. Most people like to have a paved area, others like a water feature, or containers, statues, drystone walls, scree beds, garden lighting, balustrades and steps, pergolas, timber seats, imposing gate pillars, fountains, secret gardens, trellis fences, even garden gnomes!
A five-acre garden will accommodate all of these and a multiplicity of plant preferences as well. Small gardens are more limited, and it is best to stick to a few firm favourites, and not to try to fit in too much.