Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes

These changes in latitudes, changes in attitudes
Nothing remains quite the same
Through all of the islands and all of the highlands
If we couldn't laugh we would all go insane.
-- Did you recognize that as a Jimmy Buffet song?

Winter rains have filled our pond.  Mayhaw trees grow along the edge.

A while back there were some posts about Where Are You Planted, in which we discussed where we garden. Unless you're very good at geography, it's hard to visual where someone halfway around the world or even across the continent from you might be in relation to north and south of where you grow.

I'm at latitude 31, which is approximately the same as Alexandria, Egypt;  Marrakech, Morocco; and Shanghai.

We're only slightly farther north than Austin, TX; Jacksonville, FL and Cairo, Egypt. That partly accounts for the difference in the way the January freezes hit Austin and north Florida hard as opposed to us. We were expecting freezes and we get earlier chills that help prepare the plants for cold. Many of our plants were already killed back or dormant when January arrived here in zone 8b.

We're farther south than Dallas, Phoenix and San Diego.

Many other factors contribute to our weather, including breezes off the Gulf of Mexico and winds from the north. We've had discussions about Heat Zones, too. Zone 8 in Georgia is vastly different from Noelle's Zone 8 in Arizona and Zone 8 in the PNW. Water is a mediating factor there.

Lichens and moss on old heart pine.

An interesting way to study the march northward of Spring in the northern hemisphere is at the Journey North web site. February 4 is the next update.

Do you know your latitude? Do you know which bloggers garden at a latitude similar to yours?


  1. I'm on 51° North, and I think that's almost like the narrow part of Lake Manitoba in Canada. However, our climat is much milder... (It's a bit like zone 8 in the US here...)

  2. good grief, I am ashamed to say I have no idea what latitude I live in..... off to find out, I'll be back.

    Okay Carrickfergus N.Ireland is 54°43'N. Thank goodness for the internet.

  3. I do know my latitude, 37 North, and thanks to Blotanical I do know a couple of garden bloggers in a similar latitude, such as Christine at Idora Design, and Jackie from Jackie's Secret Garden!!! Isn't Blotanical great?

  4. I would be interested to know whether your vetiver has survived this years severe winter. If it does I would appreciate if you could let me know

    dick grimshaw The Vetiver Network International


  5. Our creeks and ponds are filled for a change too! Nice change!

  6. I didn't know my latitude before. I checked it out and apparently it's 37.7 N :)

  7. I had never thought about this, you always have such interesting ideas for posts. Will go off and find out what mine is.

    Well, mine is 49 here in White Rock.


  8. I am latitude 33 North, so just a bit cooler than you. I confess I had to look it up!

  9. Your latitude and longitude are easily found on Google Earth, or the NOAA.gov site.

    Many factors figure into the climate of a particular area.

    Do you know your elevation above sea level?

    I did respond to the Vetiver question by email. I'll do a post about my grasses by next week.

  10. Hello Nell Jean,

    A very interesting post and something most of us have not thought of before. I thought we were somewhat close to the same latitude. On another note...I was wondering if your pond has water in it year-round?

  11. What a clever post, Nell Jean! We did a geography project several years ago with about 75 participants, if I remember correctly, but we didn't discuss Lats and Longs. Mine at Scott's Bay is 45 degrees 19 minutes (or so); we're smack on the upper Bay of Fundy, home to the world's highest tides. You can see some of our harbour and wharf at about high water at http://marinas.com/view/marina/9443_Scots_Bay_Harbour_Centreville_NS (sorry, I don't know how to embed links in comments).
    And now I'm going to have Changes in Latitudes stuck in my head til I go to sleep, or play something like Bon Jovi to flush the ear worm out. :-)

  12. Let me try that again. I forgot how much Blogger annoys me when it comes to adding links. it's marinas.com/view/marina/

    Just stick the 9443 right after the marina/and it should work. The photos are very cool (no I didn't take them. I sail ON the water, not fly over it except in commercial flights).

  13. I'm a fair bit different to everyone else that has posted so far...38 degrees South. I've just discovered that will put me roughly on a line with Rotorua in New Zealand and Los Angeles. That's Los Angeles, Chile! It also has me drowning off the Southern tip of South Africa!

    Now I'm off to find my elevation...

  14. ...and I've just found out that my elevation above sea level is about 70 meters. This homework is very useful!

  15. 44.51 North here in my zone 4. Sounds cold, doesn't it? Lake Michigan plays a part in our weather. During the winter, it's warmer with more snow the closer one is to the Lake. It's about 20 miles from my house to the lakeshore.


  16. Great post Nell.

    We are at 27 degrees latitude (same latitude as Asyut, Egypt. We are where the sub-tropics begin and our zone is 10.


  17. I just checked, and found that I garden at 40 degrees, and there was a 48 feet next to it. Does that mean I am 48 feet north of 40 degrees latitude? My heat zone is 7, according to a book I have.

    I have not been blogging much the last few weeks. I miss it! I have been having fun, though. The kitchen stuff is going smoothly now.

    I hope to check out the link for where people garden.

  18. 33 degrees South, in Africa, level with the top of New Zealand and the bottom of Australia, and halfway up Chile and Argentina.

  19. Great question Nell

    I garden at 56 degrees latitude and 15 metres above sea level

  20. We're all over the place, aren't we?

    Sue, the little ' indicates 'minutes' rather than feet. Sometimes latitude is given as a decimal, sometimes converted to minutes and seconds, whatever that means. I looked it up and it made my head busy. There are times when the decimal places mean something, but not in this exercise. The Poles are 90 degrees north and south, the equator is zero, and we all fall somewhere in there. I just like to think about whether I'm farther north or south than others, and how our climates differ.

    Noelle, the pond dries up and fills up again depending on whether we have a wet year or a dry one. We had several droughty years in a row and it went dry. The water table is starting to rise. Maybe it will stay filled this year.

  21. What a fun question. Apparently, Philadelphia (zone 6b/7a) is at 39°57′N. Other world cities near the 40 degree mark: Madrid, Bejing and Ankara, Turkey. Who knew? 37 degrees today but a foot of snow on the way tomorrow. Wonder what the weather in Madrid looks like? Kelly

  22. wow, great post nell, i'm in zone 11 at latitude 19.7 same as manzanillo mexico, hainan, china and hanoi, veitnam and i'm at 900 ft above sea level...that was a nice exercise to find out :)

  23. Ha, as I was just mentioning to you in my blotanical comment :). I am going to look this up, because I think there is nobody in Europe lets say that has a similar climate to us.

    I also have a microclimate on the peninsula here in downtown - we are about 5 degrees warmer than a half mile inland, nearly a zone 9a. Though not this year. There are a lot of dead mandevillas and brugsmansias around here.


I look forward to comments and questions and lively discussion of gardening and related ideas.

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