Winter. Completely unpredictable in my weather zone. Global warming or normal Chicagoland weather? You tell me!
Just two days ago it was so snowing so heavily I could not see across the back garden. A day later it was -30 with windchill. Now it’s 55 degrees with thick as pea soup fog.
Imagine being a plant trying to survive those extremes. What’s a gardener to do?
While my garden region was primarily zone 5 less than a few years ago, due to climate change, it is now designated a zone 6 according to The National Arbor Day Foundation’s 2006 hardiness zone map.
Knowing the constant changes in weather and considering garden micro-climates, I recommend planting perennials, bushes, and trees which are quite hardy in multiple zones and have a reputation for being “tough as nails.” Use your common sense and it can spell success for those gorgeous babies growing in your beds.
Global Warming and the U.S. Plant Hardiness Zone Map
The Arbor Day Foundation has a great store which references trees through an online search engine that can be planted happily in your climate. Here’s the link to that resource – http://www.arborday.org/shopping/trees/trees.cfm
For an amazing digital comparison of the 1990 Department of Agriculture hardiness zone map as compared to the Arbor Day Foundation 2006 hardiness zone map, go here to the USA Today plant hardiness comparison scale – http://www.usatoday.com/weather/climate/2008-04-23-gardening-map_N.htm
Shawna Coronado says Get Healthy! Get Green! Get Community!