For the Best Gardeners in the Cardiff Area

   Nov 21

Your Questions About Gardening

Lizzie asks…

How are gardening zones defined? Re:Vancouver Island, BC?

I see lots of questions regarding gardening zones… Mostly US questions and I was just wanting clarification as to what it means exactly.

GardenersCardiff answers:

The standard hardiness zones refer to winter hardiness. A plant hardy to zone 7 will survive a low of 0º. A plant hardy to zone 6 will survive a low of -10º. See the first link.

I am long familiar with Sunset publishing as a source of knowledge for garden planting and architecture. They seem to have been the first to both recognize and study the fact that zone 8 plants that did well in the eastern U.S. Did not do well in zone 8 of the western U.S. They discovered that heat and humidity both impacted many plants. In the southern states, hot and humid cause some plants to be like Alice in “Through the Looking Glass”- running faster and faster just to stay in one place. Or, for the plant, just to stay alive.

Sunset has published a very detailed map of North America with 45 climate zones. I live in zone 30. Initially, they made their map and zones just for the western states. As far as I know, only one plant company (Monrovia) uses Sunset’s climate zones. See the links below.

Michael asks…

I need some recommendations on what type of tree I can plant in a lawn area?

Any recommendations on what type of trees I can plant in a lawn area. I would like a tree that will do well in a lawn, I plan to place the tree inside a 5 foot circular concrete border. The lawn area is irrigated 3 times per week.

Location: Southern California,
Sunset Western Garden Zone: 23
USDA Zone:10.

Tree requirements:
Cannot be very messy
Max height 30 feet
Max spread: 15 feet
Can be evergreen or deciduous.
Should not bear fruit.

GardenersCardiff answers:

Suggest a Prunus Amanagowa,the Poplar Chery.This is an upright tree,max;height 25-30 ft.Max;spread 8-10 ft.Deciduous,carries pink spring blossom and does not fruit.
Looks good with a clematis growing through the branches for added interest.Clematis Montana,Rubens or Alba are suitable varieties.

Donald asks…

What’s a good full shade evergreen to plant in zone 6?

Trying to decide what plants to plant in a fully shaded garden in zone 6. Looking for something that will have leaves in the winter to complement Hostas in the summer…ideas??

GardenersCardiff answers:

IMO, that would be the lovely Helleborus which is tolerant up to zone 4, thrives in full shade, and as a bonus blooms in the winter.
Images of Helleborus flowers: They are lovely

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