Know Your Hardiness Zone Before Choosing Your Plants
What is a Hardiness or Climate Zone?
I think we'd all agree that the climate is much different on Cape Cod than it is on the top of Mt. Washington in New Hampshire, right? Over thousands of years, plants have acclimated to withstand certain temperature lows and still survive. In other words, the plants that you will see growing wild on a mountain top are quite different from those you'll find in a southern Connecticut valley. Each plant has a hardiness zone rating, ranging from 1 to 11 in the United States, with the lower numbers being able to tolerate the lowest temperatures.
Because we can purchase plants from all over the world from different climates, it is critical to pick plants that can handle the worst winter temperatures and still survive to grow the following year. If you plant only annuals, that is, plants that go to seed and have to be planted from seed each year, the only concern you have is making sure you plant the seeds/plants after all danger of frost has passed each year. But for bulbs, roots and other perennial plants that shed their leaves but stay alive through the winter, make sure you know your climate/hardiness zone and pick plants that can survive those temperatures from year to year.