More FW Dirt!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

In the Zone

A closer look at area "A"

Our coldest day so far this winter was recorded last Friday with DFW airport reporting 20 F and some areas of FW registering 13 to 18 F. Fort Worth is located in USDA Hardiness Zone 7b which means our average annual minimum temperature ranges from 10 to 5 degrees F.

In the previous entry I posted an overhead photo of property delineated into areas. The areas indicate the various micro-climates or zones around the building. Obviously the North side will be cooler and the areas around the parking will be warmer. Let's look closer at area "A" today.

Looking north in the photo at area "A" there are oleanders all along this south facing wall. The oleander is a plant not used much here in Zone 7b as it is native to warm subtropical areas of the world like Morocco. An oleander will tolerate a light frost and are hardy to zones 8 (15 to 10 F) and warmer.

In area "A", the sun warms the concrete wall behind the oleanders and the brisk north west winter winds are blocked by the fence on the west side. These two features of area "A" create warmer conditions and thus these oleanders don't even show any signs of any winter wear. This would not be the case if the same oleanders had been planted on the outside of the fence in the mailbox region as this area receives the brunt of the winter weather here.


  1. Pretty stark at ground level, but I know you can do miracles! Your landlord will be amazed! Hope he/she is paying for your work!

  2. We get Oleanders down in the beach areas of North Carolina but I don't see them in the central region (which is where I live). Do you think it is per chance the shrub were put in a protective location or did someone at sometime love this garden?

  3. These oleanders were planted recently. The protective location definitely keeps them looking this nice through the winter.

  4. The soil remains warmer too because of the building foundation, and the foundation also provides drainage they are sure to find similar to their native homes in the subtropical climates.

    I too grow plants not suitable to my zone because I have so much gravel for paving and drainage on my previously 'lake like' property.

    I am glad you sent me the URL.

  5. Cindy, I just approved FW Dirt for Blotanical from the guru dashboard. I hope it goes through. Donna