Fall comes to the Island

It’s November, but a killing frost has yet to arrive on Long Island. A few annuals still bloom bravely, their days numbered. The trees have achieved as much color as they do without frost – much yellow, gold and brown, but reds are rare. Many clear days, and none of the destruction that visited New England two weeks ago. We are grateful for the slow transition to winter!

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Climate Zones

When we moved to New Hampshire after retiring, I did not realize how much I would miss my flower garden on Long Island (zone 7a, winter low  +5 to 0 deg F). Creating a perennial bed in NH (zone 5a, winter low  -15 to -20 deg F) was a challenge! After three summers I was happy to have gathered about 20 perennials hardy enough to survive a NH winter.

But day-lilies, lupin, phlox, daisy, coneflower, coreopsis, salvia, rudbeckia, astilbe,  knockout rose and hibiscus braved the strong north-west winds off the lake and the -20deg lows, and put on a brave show of NH color by our third summer!

Now we are back on Long Island, remembering the delights of our half-acre 10 years ago, and hoping to recreate at least a miniature perennial bed in our new small yard! Bleeding Heart, honeysuckle, peony, astilbe, phlox, tea rose, hydrangea, hibiscus loved the long mild growing season.

Take a look and see the difference two climate zones makes! Can you tell which zone is which? (OK, you gardeners know at first glance!). Each is beautiful in its own way. Given time, you can not only survive, but flourish, wherever you are planted…