Calgary Horticulture - Planting Zones
So you want to plant a perennial in the North West corner of your yard and you want to know what plant to chose? The Zone Hardiness map of Canada is always a good place to start. For many generations in Canada, horticulture associations, organizations and plain old gardeners, have been planting stuff all over the place and deciding whether the planting was a success or not. In theory, the Zone designation on a particular perennial, woody ornamental, evergreen or tree at the greenhouse or garden center is a reflection of those generations of experimenting Horticulturists.
As you can see from the Government of Canada map above Calgary and the Foothills Region are located in Zone 3a/3b, so when making your plant selection anything marked 3a/3b or 2a/2b should do well if properly specified, planted and maintained. Having said that, within any specific landscape setting, there may be micro-climates that might allow you to successfully install Zone 4a/4b plants in Calgary. Zone Hardiness is only the starting point for the proper plant placement in a Chinook Country landscape. Experience is a guide to expectation, but sometimes expectations are exceeded by knowledgeable selection, proper placement and proper pruning and maintenance of your garden trees, shrubs and perennials.