In the Gardening Zone
Gardening, It is a regional thing!
I think it is more than time that I at least break out the term regional for you since it is the basis of all of my gardening success. A region can be defined as an area typically with a set of similar characteristics. The size of the region may be the northeast region of the United States. Think a little smaller though. I am not talking the USDA Zones either. All those tell you is that the particular plant you are holding will live in the zone stated on the label during a very AVERAGE winter. Yes that is all it tells you. I am talking about a zone the size of a portion of your back yard or a portion of your county with the same characteristics in the soil texture (drainage), soil Ph., relative sun or shade, available water, is it humid and not cool off much at night or is it dry and get a little chilly? You add these up and and you have a region. I have 2 regions across the side of my back yard one has a shade garden and right next to it is a raised bed vegetable garden just churning out tomatoes and, squash and okra every year. I have several other regions in my back yard all of them governed by their own sets of characteristics. Mostly sun and shade or an abundance of reflected light on top of the natural sun light. The Dallas Fort Worth area has several regions in it. The further East you go the more clay you get the nights are hotter because of the humidity and the Ph. hovers closer to 8 that a neutral 7. Yes, we have some things to overcome here in Dallas. The further towards Fort Worth you go the drier it becomes the Ph. lowers and the clay starts to resemble soil again and then turns to almost gravel in only 60 miles.
The point is this; whatever you have been given in terms of variations where you live it is OK. You can still garden. It may be a little more of a challenge than those lucky people in northern California where you can plant a rock in the ground and barely water it and have something come up. The rest of us have to search the world over and find plants that will do well naturally under your conditions in the region you select for it. Remember you can sometimes create shade and you can irrigate but many of the other factors it is easier to go with the flow and plant what will do well in your region no matter how large or how small.