Gardening With Your Location in Mind

I had lunch with my best friend this afternoon at a local shopping center. We sat down afterwards and chatted a bit and she wanted to know what to do about gardening for her particular home.

For her circumstance, container gardening seems appropriate, but then the question became, “Which plants should I use?” That depends, in part, on the taste of each person, but practically speaking, it is good to look around your neighbors’ yards and the inventory of plants available at your local nursery or home improvement center. Why is that?

These are the plants that are widely available and known to have a good chance of surviving and thriving in your particular part of the world.

I have heard complaints from people who have purchased a plant online, after becoming enamored with a plant, but not know about its viability once the plant arrived at their doorstep. The plant often becomes ill and then, not surprisingly, dies. Then the plant owner gripes, “The company sent me a defective plant. The company is no good. I want my money back!” That could be true, but often it is a case of a mismatch between the plant’s natural hardiness zone(s) and the plant owner’s hardiness zone, where it will eventually live.

For example, peonies are gorgeous, but simply don’t survive in my area, so I look for alternative plants. In my friend’s case, we looked around the shopping center’s nicely done container plants, with a large shrub in the center, and annuals encircling it. This is an attractive and relatively low-maintenance gardening solution for my friend.

Below is a link to a map of the hardiness zones for the USA. Look up your specific hardiness zone number and use that number to identify plants appropriate for your area: http://www.usna.usda.gov/Hardzone/ushzmap.html

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