Friday, July 13, 2007

Quest for a "Sister Climate"

You know how some places have a "sister city"? My hometown had Ikeda, Japan as its sister city. Personally, I thought it was just a ploy to get more Japanese tourist dollars. Regardless, it is always interesting to find people with common interests, hobbies, or environments.

Garden bloggers are a peculiar type of person, but garden bloggers from cold northern climates are an even smaller group. I read the blog entitled "Cold Climate Gardening" regularly, but the collection of writers on that blog all live in the USA (and not Alaska). While they may have cold climates, few probably have severe winters like we do here. Then again, there are gardeners in the harsher climate of Yellowknife, NWT, but I haven't seen a garden blog from there yet. They could write about the polar bears trampling their gardens. (Believe it or not, we do occasionally have reindeer around here -- although in Canada we call them caribou).
Köppen Climate Map

Getting back to the point, there must be a "sister climate" somewhere in the world, as judged by an international climate map. I found the Köppen climate classification system, which identifies our climate as "Dfc"=Continental Subarctic or Boreal (Taiga). It is similar to that of northern Russia, northern Sweden, northern Finland, northern Norway, and Anchorage, Alaska. Actually, it includes much of Canada, excepting the west coast, the parts of the prairie provinces that grow stuff, and the southern bit of Ontario and Quebec.

Wanting to feel a kinship with somewhere a bit more foreign and exotic, I will claim Oulu, Finland as my "sister climate" city. I even found a garden blogger in Oulu on the Gardening blogs directory and guess what?!? All the plants on that website look eerily familiar. Quu in Finland, I don't know who you are or if you speak English, but I think we could be friends.


Muum said...

yep,it would be nice to find a similar climate. I grew up in the midWest of the U.S., zone 5, now I live in 'high desert' Utah, also zone 5, but a lot, a lot more sunshine. There is a difference between a plant that loves the sun and a plant that survives the sunshine at 5000 feet altitude.

Gardenista said...

Yes, there are several climate variables that change the plants that like to grow in our yards. I'm hoping that global warming will rid us of mosquitoes. Not likely, bu I'm hoping.

quu said...

Hi from your Sister Climate! :)

Sure we can be friends! I would like that very much! :)

We do have a same type of climate and several plants, that are from US or Holland, like living here. Of course wrong plant in the wrong place wont last a long. Spring times moisture is more to blame than cold tempatures, if plant dies.

I do speak english and so many Finns do speak english quite easily, so if you find more Finnish garden blogs, so do comment - they will reply.

We start learning english in elementary school and todays kids even in kindergarten (if parents wants).Finlands second mother tongue is swedish, so that are teached as well ( I am so poor of that language :D). And if you wish you can learn at older age russian, german and france also.

Siberian Irises do like living at my bigger garden that is near Finnish west coast (nearest town is Vaasa). Plant bloom after two years of planting, because usually plants has best soil in the pots. And our soil type is heavy clay, so plants needs to settle before blooming. After that no problems if the plants is in the right place.

Now I have to read your blog from the start! :)

Best wishes to you!

Quu from Sister Climate