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USDA Hardiness Planting Zones

To determine if a plant is sufficiently cold-hardy, the USDA created numbered zones indicating winter low temperatures; the lower the zone number the colder the winter.

  • If the coldest winter temperature expected in your area is -15°F (zone 5) then any plants rated zones 3-5 will survive the winter temperatures in your area.
  • If you live in very warm winter areas (zones 9-11) plants with zones 3-4 ratings are not recommended. The lack of freezing winter temperatures do not provide a time for winter dormancy (rest).

The joys of planning your spring garden

Bee Balm - Spring Planted Perennial

Bee Balm Fireball

For those who love to plan ahead, now is the time to start thinking about your spring garden. The temperatures are starting to drop, which makes me (gleefully) start thinking about what I am going to do in my garden this spring. My garden is a new space for me and has plenty of beautiful Daylilies, Peonies, Astilbe, Hosta, and other perennials that were graciously planted by the resident before me. This spring, I want to make the garden my own and try as many different varieties of plants as possible.

We have had amazing luck with the Hardy Hibiscus in the test gardens at American Meadows, as you can see in my blog “Adopting the pace of nature: her secret is patience.” The size and beauty of the Hibiscus’ blooms are so breath-taking, I know that I will be planting at least one in my own garden. To learn more about Hibiscus, read our article “Hardy Hibiscus.”

I also would love to plant Bee Balm this spring. I love its sun/shade tolerance and the fact that it is both fragrant and will attract butterflies and hummingbirds. Another plant that I have really been wanting to try, but haven’t had the space until now, is a Butterfly Bush. The one in our test garden is amazing - it is right outside my window and literally brought butterflies around almost all summer long.

Dahlia - Spring Planted Bulb

Dahlia Edge of Joy

Having a city garden makes my space a bit limited, but I know I can always find room for more spring bulbs. This year I also want to do more container gardening, on and around my porch area. I am going to plant mostly Dahlias and Begonias in pots around the outdoor area. Caladium will be going in the shady areas and Calla Lilies will planted wherever they will fit!


Thinking about my spring garden helps me get through the long, cold winter months we experience here in Vermont. No matter where you live in the country, it’s never too early to start planning your spring garden. We are here to help - all of our spring-planted bulbs and perennials are 50% off in our Advance Sale.

This spring, try something new! Make room in your garden for a plant that you have never grown before, or even heard of. Remember, all of our plants are fully guaranteed to grow and will create a spectacular show in your garden.

As always, Happy Gardening!

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