The resistance of trees and shrubs varies greatly. Some species support up to minus 40 degrees below zero while others will not survive the slightest frost. The extremes imposed by the climate of the area where we live should never be ignored and should also be the main factor when choosing our plants.

Frost is in all likelihood the biggest killer of plants, but neither should we underestimate the wind, the drought, the rigors of the sun and the salt-laden breeze when you live near the coast.

Although you can see palm trees surviving in the snow and knowing that the goal of any plant is to get ahead as it may, in the long run it is better for the gardener to adjust to the weather than to be in constant quarrel with him. However, we are always tempted to grow plants that are on the verge of climate tolerance and it is surprising what can grow in the most inappropriate places when protection is provided.

To protect delicate plants from strong or prolonged frost they can be placed against a sheltered wall, also next to other trees and shrubs or under their branches. Under its glass, a large deciduous tree will provide other smaller plants shelter from the sun and the heat of summer and during the winter, without leaves, will attenuate the cold while allowing abundant light.

Padding over the roots and lining of trunk and branches with plant material or even plastic is also a good measure of protection. Windbreak fences and hedges protect against the worst damage caused by the winds, being very useful in most coastal areas. Delicate shrubs can also be grown in containers to transport them to sheltered places or under cover during the hardest of winter.