Are you zoned out, or turning over a new leaf? Time was, these were mutually exclusive propositions, but not anymore!
Yesterday, the USDA in conjunction with Oregon State University’s Prism Research Group, released a new Plant Zone Hardiness Map that divides the U.S. into 26 zones of average, annual, extreme, minimum temperatures, each zone varying five degrees from the next. In addition to being 100% web interactive and searchable via zipcode, many things have changed since the last map was configured in 1990. New data used to compile the 2012 map includes the prevailing winds, bodies of water and slope of land in each of the 26 regions. The urban heat island effect was also taken into consideration, which may explain why 18 of 34 cities mentioned in the 1990 mapkey have higher designations.
So with most areas measuring 5° F warmer than before, yours may have zoned out, like mine did. Yesterday, Vero Beach was located in 9b…today the USDA is calling it 10, which raises some all important questions:
Can you risk a zone 7-11 Agapanthus if you live in 5b Binghamton, NY,? Will that zone 10-11 Duranta Erecta Cuban Gold really grow in the formerly 9b Ranchero?
Who among us has the courage to turn over a new leaf? ;)
For the time being, I think I’ll stick to what I know works best, which are plants like these::
and especially this:
Alamandas, Mirabilis, and Siam Tulips are three of my favorite choices, but NOT because I lack courage or a spirit of adventure! They’re sure bets in my garden; they come back every year; they make gardening fun and relaxing, and that’s what this hobby is most about for me.
The USDA can call the Ranchero any zone it likes, but for me? I’m sticking with Comfort Zone. :) :)
Until next time……