As well as plant lists, bear in mind the following when planning for cold climate gardening;
- Try to buy plants that have been raised in the conditions that they will be grown in. Buying from local growers if possible will be preferable to buying imported material
- Many plants are winter hardy – such as magnolias and camellias but their flowers are susceptible to spring frosts. Aim to choose selections that flower slightly later in the season (e.g. Camellia ‘Black Lace’), or even those that have a tendency to repeat flower such as M. soulangeana ‘Lennei’ or flower over a long period in spring and early summer – M. liliiflora ‘Nigra’ for example
- Bear in mind that microclimates exist within the general climate zone you are gardening in, as well as within the garden itself. Establishing shelterbelts and windbreaks may be useful to further increase the range of plants able to be grown
Hardiness ratings, if available, for plants can help give some indication of plant hardiness. To be confident of full hardiness, opt for plants with ratings of H4 (old RHS system, as in RHS Plant Selector), H5-7 (new RHS system) or USDA Zones 1-8a.
Sunset Western Garden Book edited by Kathleen N Brenzel (Sunset Publishing Corporation 2007, ISBN 978-0376039163)
The book is also made available through the RHS Lindley Library.