When winter sets in, frost can be the hour of reckoning for gardeners. It’s that moment when the plants that have adapted to your local climate are going to be fine (even if a bit unsightly because they are shutting down until spring), while others will suffer, even die, without protection because they are not cold-hardy in your zone.
Shrubs wrapped in burlap are a common sight in winter across yards, but the question is: Do you really want to go through that effort year after year? For anything that you permanently plant—all the perennials, that is—you should only pick plants adapted to your USDA Plant Hardiness Zone. But that’s probably not what you want to hear when you are worrying whether the beautiful crape myrtle you planted in your front yard last spring will make it through the New England winter.