The first two rules of shopping for landscape plants with garden catalogs are centered around needs, much like shopping for groceries. A “shopping list” will serve the gardener well, just like the family grocery shopper.
One. Need a landscape sketch. It’s super important to start with a visual representation of the landscape; where the house, buildings, driveway, pasture, fences, etc are located, so that existing plantings can be evaluated and new ones considered.
Two. Where are the “holes”? A list of needs, otherwise referred to as holes, is a good identifier. They could be actual gaps in the landscape or places where trees/shrubs/fruits are dying and need to be replaced.