There are a variety of different soils. Some are rich and loamy, others are sandy and alkaline. Since man first used a stick to make a furrow, farmers and gardeners have worked to enrich their land for planting. We can test pH and amend soil with lime, leave mould, and an array of products, but sometimes the most practical solution is simply to plant what is most likely to grow there.
The benefits of planting natives are legion starting with water conservation and saving you time and money in the long run. However, if you select the right plants for the growing conditions, even non-natives can add interest and character to your garden.
If your garden is especially clayey or sandy, for example, you can alter it by testing, then adding appropriate amendments. Read Dirt 101 for insight into making your soil more plant friendly.
We hope the discussion of soils and what grows well in the various types helps you in your yard.