Landscaping for harsh mountain winters
Everything I plant is killed by the harsh mountain winters in Big Bear Lake, CA. I am planning to put in plugs of zoysia grass in a few weeks and I want to plant some bushes near the house and some flowering plants that will come back over and over. I will include a bulb garden come fall, but my problem is that our growing season is VERY short, as it quits snowing in May and starts again in October. Any suggestions?
Submitted by BHGPhotoContest

Zoysia grass will not be a good choice for your climate. It is a warm season grass that will not green up until well after warm weather arrives and will turn brown with the first frosts of fall. You would be better off planting a cool-season turfgrass. And although you're technically in USDA Zone 5 or 6, you may want to choose plants hardy to Zones 3 or 4 simply because you have such a short growing season. Check out our plant encyclopedia at  http://www.bhg.com/gardening/plant-dictionary/ to search for plants that fit your requirements.

Answered by BHGgardenEditors