May 2024
Zone envy By Teresa McPherson

Every time I get to the West Coast, an affliction takes over. Maybe it’s happened to you — or your customers — especially if you live in a plant hardiness zone on the lower or higher end of the spectrum. I’m comfortably in Zone 6a — right in the middle — but often find myself “pushing” my zone … hence, my affliction.

It’s called Zone Envy. And when I’m on the other side of the country, I look around at the landscapes with large, lush succulents and vines covered in rosy red flowers and citrus trees bursting with fruit … I can’t help but wish I could grow some of it at home — and not just indoors in a container.

It happened at California Spring Trials recently, when Team L&GR traveled the California coast to see the plant breeders’ new introductions for 2025. All those beautiful annuals, perennials and even some vegetables planted in the ground and filling containers made me think of all the vegetables, herbs and flowers I started from seed months ago and have been tending to with heat mats and carefully timed supplemental lighting.

Writing this month’s article “From Soil to Centerpiece: Trends in Home Cutting Gardens” here (and being reminded of the beauty of CAST!) helped assuage the feeling some, knowing that many of the varieties can be grown as perennials in my zone.

Do you suffer from zone envy, too? Commiserate with me at [email protected].

New Adventures

I’d also like to share some exciting changes at L&GR — don’t worry, I’m not going anywhere! Instead, I’m thrilled to introduce a newer face on our team, Carly McFadden. She has been the managing editor of our sister brands Gift Shop® Plus and Stationery Trends and working behind the scenes on L&GR. Now, she will be taking on a larger role as editorial director. Please join me in officially welcoming Carly!

With this news, I also wish to bid a fond farewell to Abby McGarry, who is due at the end of April with her first child — a baby girl — and will be dedicating herself full time to her sweet new bundle of joy. Welcome to the adventure of a lifetime, Abby!

Teresa McPherson

Teresa McPherson is the managing editor of Lawn & Garden Retailer. Contact her at [email protected].