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Gardening requires lots of water - most of it in the form of perspiration.

~Lou Erickson~

What's a zone and does it matter?

In a nutshell, the United States has been divided into different growing areas according to winter low temperatures. For a more detailed description of USDA Zone information see our Zone Chart.

Plants can't read and don't know where they are supposed or not supposed to grow. Memorable gardens contain plants that are not normally seen in one's locale.For that reason, many gardeners push plants a zone above or below their stated growing areas. There's nothing more fun than to successfully grow a tropical plant in zone 6 or 7, or a cool season one in a warmer zone. If your palms begin to itch at the thought of growing an unlikely plant in your garden, then you know exactly what I mean.

Tips for successfully pushing your zone:

  • provide good drainage
  • plant tropicals near walls or paved surfaces to provide reflected warmth
  • provide cool season plants with protection from hot afternoon sun
  • mulch your plants well to contain moisture and keep ground temperatures more even
  • try plants in different locations of your garden
  • don't be discouraged if a plant dies, try it again in a different location

l have murdered a few plants repeatedly by refusing to take 'no' for an answer. For some, I have eventually found the 'right' spot; others that I can't live without I dig up and overwinter in the basement. My palms itch just thinking about the plants I am going to try out this season:

  • More Brugmansia Varieties
  • Evergreen Geranium
  • Maine Blueberry


Our successes in Zone 7 with Tropicals:

Hibiscus mutabilis - Confederate Rose
Brugmansia - Angel Trumpet