Regional Gardening

Over the years I’ve become a strong believer in the importance of regional gardening advice. Too many books and magazines attempt to address a national audience, but very little can be said about gardening that’s applicable to everyone across our extremely diverse country. Gardeners need to get their information locally, from people who garden in the same climate, contending with the same conditions.

Although I’ve gardened in several parts of the U.S., I am most knowledgeable about gardening in the Northeast. Even more specifically, I best understand inland gardening in central and southern New England and adjacent areas, including the lower Hudson Valley.

In my book, The Shady Lady’s Guide to Northeast Shade Gardening (University Press of New England, 2014), I wrote, “Each region of the world presents to gardeners a unique combination of climate, soils, topography, rainfall, native vegetation, wildlife and dozens of other things that, taken together, comprise the palette of tools with which a gardener has to work and the set of obstacles a gardener must overcome. Understanding and respecting those differences from region to region is critical to creating successful gardens.

“When you garden by acknowledging the conditions that surround you, deciding to work with them instead of fighting or ignoring them, you make an important and wise choice. Your reward, in the long term, will be a more successful garden with less cost and effort.”

In whatever part of the country you reside, I encourage you to seek out local sources of gardening information, whether it be your state’s Cooperative Extension Service, a university or arboretum in your region, or a radio or newspaper gardening authority whose message rings true with you. On my home page you’ll find links to some excellent local sources of information for Northeast gardeners.