Consider Your Climate

Creating a garden is more than just aesthetics. The plants won’t mean much if they’ll end up wilting, freezing, decaying, or dieing. So before you plant your garden, consider your climate first.

Climate maps, such as this one, shows low-temperature extremes by zone throughout the United States.

What are Zones?
Not the twilight zone, but a plant’s zone! When a gardening book or plant’s tag references a zone, it generally means that a plant is hardy to an area’s temperature extremes. Zones have been indicated for all trees and perennials and the hardiness zone scale below shows a geographically defined area in which a plant is capable of surviving, including its ability to withstand extreme temperatures. These zones were first developed by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and have since been adopted elsewhere.

These zones are only guidelines, however. Sunset Books (associated with Sunset magazine) publishes a series of gardening books that breaks up climate zones more finely than the USDA zones by taking into consideration ranges of temperatures in ALL seasons, including precipitation, wind patterns, elevation, and length and structure of the growing season.

What’s Your Zone?
So you’re thinking, well that’s all good to know, but how do I know what zone I live in? The Arbor Day Foundation’s website has a form online where you can enter your zip code and it will display your area’s hardiness zone. It also has suggested trees and perennial suggestions for your area.

Finding the Perfect Plants For Your Garden
Once you know what zone you live in, have fun searching out the many wonderous plants that thrive in your climate. There are several places to turn to help you in your research. One particular site I had fun with is at They have a new garden tool to help you choose the right flowers and plants for your climate, your yard, and your personal gardening style.

Happy planting!

About Jen

Jen is owner, author, and creative mind behind Bakerette. Jen eats a vegan diet and recently converted Bakerette to a plant-based website that offers a smattering of healthful recipes! Jen is author of the cookbook Festive Feasts: Meals and Memories from Halloween to Christmas, which can be purchased online at Amazon or Barnes & Noble.


  1. I love garden art and enjoyed your blog. I must appreciate the opening picture of the blog

  2. Your blog seems to be great. I really enjoyed going through it.

  3. mothernaturesgarden says:

    You have a nice informative blog. Welcome.

  4. Jan the crazy lady says:

    I live in zone 7. Thanks for zoning us in on the zones.

  5. Sherrie says:

    As an amateur gardener, I didn't know about zones and wondered what it mean when I saw it on the tags. Thanks for this info! It was informative.

  6. Jennifer says:

    I'm having fun with this blog!

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