I’ve traditionally used the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone to help decide what to plant and when. While it provides great information, as you probably know the zones cover a wide range of territory. Cincinnati is in zone 6A along with parts of California, for example. I’m not a scientist but I find it hard to believe that the same plants will grow successfully, while supporting local pollinators, in both Ohio and California.
In learning how to select native plants that will help the most, I’ve become focused on ecoregions in addition to plant zones.
I was outside early this morning, cleaning and filling up the bird feeders. Suddenly, the quiet was interrupted by “Peter, Peter, Peter.” I paused and looked around. While I didn’t spot the bird, I knew there was a Tufted Titmouse nearby.
I think birding and gardening go together, although I’m a much better gardener than birder! My good friend Kelly, who blogs at Red and The Peanut is a birder extraordinaire—she knows more about birds and nature than I ever will, and she has patiently taught me most everything I know about birding, including how to recognize a handful of birds by their songs.