New Canadian Zone Map
For our gardening friends north of the border comes a new hardiness zone map to more accurately predict which plants will grow best in your area. The Canadian Forest Service's 2000 Hardiness Zone Map features 17 zones and subzones based on climatic data from 1961-1990. The site features a keyword search that allows you to zoom into the hardiness zone for your town, and if you're still not sure what's best to grow there, indicator trees and shrubs are listed for each zone.
Favorite or New Plant
'New Hampshire Gold' Forsythia
Whenever I think I know a gardening subject cold, I always get humbled. After I recorded a commentary on Vermont Public Radio on forsythia mentioning the hardiest ones to grow to ensure flowering each spring, a listener called and alerted me to one variety I failed to mention, 'New Hampshire Gold' forsythia.
'New Hampshire Gold' forsythia was developed by an amateur breeder, Paul Joy, in 1966 in West Claremont, New Hampshire. In trials in Vermont, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts, it has consistently outbloomed standard forsythia varieties, with flower buds surviving minimum temperatures to -35oF. It grows 5 to 6 feet tall and features attractive red-purple foliage in fall. Like all forsythia, it blooms best in full sun.
If you're looking for a truly hardy forsythia to grace your yard with gold blossoms in early spring, this is a good candidate.