Tunnard's principle ('use only the best materials') applies to soft landscape material (trees, shrubs, herbaceous plants, grasses) as much as to hard landscape materials. And sourcing the best plants is not easy. Only rarely will they be found in a local garden store. If your friends are keen plantspeople, that is one possibility. For the rest, buying plants online is the best hope. The aim is to obtain the best varieties of the best plants for your locality. If moving to a new area, scrutiny of what grows well in the neighbourhood is a good starting point.