I now live in an apartment complex where a lot of overgrown and poorly pruned mugo pines were removed. They were replaced with azaleas, which were planted far enough apart so they will not grow into each other until they are close to mature size.
Sometimes plants are deliberately spaced so they will grow into each other. This is usually the case with hedges, annual flowers and especially containers.
Another very important factor in choosing plants is their adaptability to sunny or shady growing conditions. That information is included on most plant labels. However, it is easy to check the internet for any plant name and find several references about a plant’s characteristics.