Posted by aogTuesday, 01 July 2003 at 09:05 TrackBack Ping URL
I was looking at at gardening book the other day and it had the standard "hardiness chart". This is primarily a chart of the average minimum temperature. While most other factors can be compensated for with outside plants, it's hard to avoid the effects of cold. Looking at the chart gives a rough idea of what plant species will survive the winter for a region.

I've seen this chart many a time but what I hadn't seen was the same chart for Europe. What was amazing to me was that the UK, except for a little bit of the Scottish Highlands, has the hardiness rating of southern Georgia. The west coast of Norway is the same zone. You have to go all the way to Finland to get regions that are as cold as the coldest of the continental US. Germany is roughly similar to Kentucky.

Of course, all of this climate moderation is thanks to the US. It's the Gulf Stream, carefully warmed off the east coast of the US, that keeps Western and Northern Europe so warm. Yet what thanks do we hear for that? Ingrates!