Some useful and even nerdy links to maps and items of geography, offering much insight on the climates and ecological communities we garden in.
I don’t exist or wing it on popular perceptions, but live and embrace reality.
To design a landscape with living plants that people and wildlife want to be in, it helps to always be open and learn where one is, from the big to the small picture. I would hope that most people wouldn’t settle for a passing garden, any more than to follow passing fads. Fashion and staying power are much better.
Overall Gegraphy –
BONAP maps (plants, climate, soils, relationships)
Climate types or zones (generalized)
Much of the US
Sunshine data (no, LA or Austin are not the sunniest places:-)
Climate zones…favors west coast, glosses over interior west and east (Sunset)
Cold Hardiness Zones…30 years of winter lows averaged (USDA)
Heat Zones…averages of hours above 86F (American Horticultural Society)
Floristic changes / tension zones (E-W, N-S)
Plant density and diversity
North American Plant Atlas
Cactus family members – here
Oak species – here
Muhly grass species – here