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Posts Tagged ‘USDA’

A Revised 2012 USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map of New York State

Punxsutawney Phil predicted just this morning that spring will not come early. However, for the first time since 1990, the US Department of Agriculture has released a revised plant hardiness map. This is a basic tool that landscape designers and gardeners use to develop plant palettes and determine the success rate of a particular species in a given landscape. For New York City, we changed from hardiness zone 6B  to 7B . You may be thinking, what does this mean for my garden?

It means that tender perennials which don’t always overwinter are now more likely to do so. It means that aggressive annuals in protected areas are here to stay and tropical plants used outdoors may stay green much longer into the cool season. Pick your plants accordingly!

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As I was doing a late season nursery trip last week I came across Rudbeckia laciniata ‘Una Belle’ which took me by complete surprise. The sheer height and scale of this perennial make it stand out. We tend to use Rudbeckia as a low maintenance fail-proof perennial that gives a golden punch of color in mid to late summer, but this cultivar of the Asteraceae family adds height to the garden as it grows up to 6′ tall.

Just Behind the Table and Cart in the Foreground Stands the Towering Rudbeckia laciniata 'Una Belle'

Rudbeckia laciniata, commonly referred to as Cutleaf Coneflower (not to be confused with Echinacea) is hardy to USDA zone 3. It is covered with golden-yellow flowers typical of a Black-eyed Susan in late summer to early fall. It prefers a sunny and well-drained location in the garden. Can you imagine a huge patch of this surrounded by mounds of ornamental grasses? This plant can absolutely revitalize your garden in late summer when everything else is looking a little crispy and faded. Think big scale with this one. It isn’t a plant for the small container garden.

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