Human Flower Project

Orrington, MAINE USA

flag flower bed

parker basket thumb
Princeton, MAINE USA

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Weaving among Hardiness Zones

Kentuckian Allen Bush pushes the limit with new plants from Florida, seduced by the USDA’s new maps.


Edgeworth chrysantha: an early bloomer, “insanely intoxicating”

Photo: W.J. Hayden

By Allen Bush

The long awaited interactive garden tool was released a few weeks before our Florida vacation. I didn’t study the new map, though I could see Louisville, Kentucky, was colored some shade of green. There were adjacent greens but I’m red-green colorblind. It was all a muddle. 

On our vacation to Sanibel Island, a few weeks later, Mary Vaananen, my Jelitto colleague, emailed and announced that Louisville had been upgraded from 6b (-5 F to 0 F/-20.6 C to -17.8 C) to 7a (0 F to 5 F/-17.8C to -15 C). I started shopping for native Florida plants the next day.  Florida and Kentucky have a lot in common. Florida once sat at the bottom of an ocean floor; so did Kentucky.  In 1824, botanist Constantine Rafinesque wrote in Annals of Kentucky: “The briny oceans cover the whole land of Kentucky.”  Kentucky was only 10 degrees north of the equator, when we were sitting under a shallow ocean in the Devonian Period 380 million years ago. 

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Posted by Julie on 02/15 at 06:44 PM
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