If you’ve ever moved from one part of the country to another—particularly from north to south or vice versa—you may have been surprised at how different gardening was after you moved. Regional differences play an important role in the location of plants in the garden. For instance, the azalea that took almost full sun in Oyster Bay, Long Island, needs plenty of protection and shade from the elements in Louisville, Kentucky.
The reason for such differences is that the intensity of the sun increases the closer you are to the equator. Add to that basic fact the multitude of climatic influences—fog, clouds, lain, wind, and others–and you quickly realize that blanket statements concerning the type of exposure to give a plant are difficult to make.
Experience and a little common sense are your best guides in interpreting planting instructions. The instruction in this book may, for example, say to provide medium to light shade for tuberous begonias. If you live in an area that has a distinct marine influence, with frequent fog, moderate temperatures, and high humidity, you should know that the begonias could stand a great deal more sun than they could if you were living in Lubbock, Texas.
Once you get to know your own climate, and the many little climates that surround your house, the process of providing the right conditions for each plant becomes much easier.