Microclimates in the Landscape
by Gary Bachman Ph.D.

One of the most common topics of conversation between gardeners is the weather. Rain, heat, cold and drought all present challenges to maintaining a good-looking garden and landscape. Together, these environmental factors are referred to as the “climate” for a particular area or region. Since these areas can be rather large, we can call these environmental factors the macroclimate for a given area. The USDA Hardiness Zone map is a resource we use to determine growing conditions over wide areas and regions.

Within the larger macroclimates are smaller areas that have different or modified conditions. These pockets may be warmer or cooler, or wetter or drier than surrounding areas. These areas are termed “microclimates” and can be influenced by buildings, trees, bodies of water or elevation changes.
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Dealing With Drought
Keep Your Garden Going When the Rain Stops
by John McWilliams

Over the past months, most areas of the country have set records for heat and drought. While the experts debate the “whys” and “hows,” the rest of us are stuck with the bottom line — it’s harder to grow things. Extreme temperatures and lack of moisture stresses most garden and landscape plants that would normally be considered tried-and-true standards. In addition, the availability and expense of irrigation has become problematic ...   >> read article
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Bad Storms, Better Trees
by George Weigel

Some years are bad years to be a tree. Tornadoes, borers, diseases, monsoon-like rains and snow storms tag-team to blow down, rot out and crack apart untold thousands of landscape trees throughout the East and Midwest. That puts many a tree-less homeowner in the market for replacements in spring. Future storm-related tree trouble can be reduced greatly by better selection, better siting and especially better planting and care practices.   >> read article
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