Whisper While You Work

Buy the new book, "Beaucoup Arlo & Janis!"Today's "Arlo & Janis!"
An appropriate classic cartoon for a Monday morning. Now, all you gardeners out there are aware of the USDA Zone Hardiness Maps; the aforementioned link is to a particularly good version from the USDA itself. I have noticed that the hardiness maps provided by commercial nurseries tend to be more, shall we say, optimistic. An old but effective pick-up line in any horticultural bar is, “What’s your zone?” I’m a Zone 8, for the record. For those of you still reading but don’t know what I’m talking about, the zone hardiness map breaks down the geography into zones based on the “annual average minimum extreme temperature” and is supposed to be a guide to what kind of cultivated vegetation can be expected to survive in a given location. Zone 8 is tough. Much of Zone 8 can go for years without winter temperatures below 20 degrees F, but eventually there will be a winter when the temperature hovers near zero at least long enough to kill a gardener’s more wishful efforts, which isn’t very long. Remember my olive trees? Well, they’re in the ground now, and we shall see. Gardeners among you, enjoy poring over the zone hardiness map.