Welcome to Atlanta, hereby known to hortheads as zone 8a...
Many of you know by now that the USDA has released their updated 2012 zone hardiness map. I have been dragging my feet on posting about it, and several others already have done a good job in summarizing the updates. It's interactive, allowing curious users to click on specific areas and enter zip codes for a highly specific zone i.d. Drawing from the last 30 years of climate trends, the USDA redistricted the zones and returned to dividing them into subzones of "a" and "b" for more fine-grained climate identification. Tony Avent of PlantDelights Nursery was a big proponent of the updated system.
GardenRant's Susan Harris has already posted a good discussion on the issue, including some of the decision-making and issues of climate change that were considered in the new map's construction, so I will direct interested readers to her blog (according to which, Buffalo is now "slightly balmier." Ha!
Atlanta is now officially zone 8a...bring on the tropics!