Well, everyone seems to be doing it, so I will add gardening in Lafayette, Indiana to the list. Lafayette is about 1 hour North of Indianapolis, and about 2 hours South of Chicago.
It is a University town, so we have a pretty stable economy, year-round, but when the students come back in the Fall, it really jumps. You might think that living in a town with a well-known University like Purdue would be great. It is most of the time. Like I said, Purdue employs lots of people, and with the student here most of the year, the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages. But there are disadvantages.
Like, try getting around on a football weekend. Or try finding a restaurant to eat at on Parents weekend. Small things, but it can get annoying.
You would think that because Purdue has a great Horticulture program, the employee selection for us in the landscape business would be great. But, for whatever reason, we do not get many students apply for work with us.
We are in zone 5, but I can sometimes get zone 6 plants to survive here. We have a great downtown, with lots of events through the summer held there. We are close to historic Battleground, and Prophetstown State Park, a fairly new park focusing on a 1920's working farm, a Native American settlement, and a 122 acre prairie.
I was born in Lafayette, but did not live here until I had graduated high school. Until I was 6 years old I lived in a small town about 40 minutes from Lafayette, then moved about 60 miles North to Highland, Indiana, were I grew up. When I graduated I knew that I could not stay in "the region" any longer, so my Brother, who lived in Brookston at the time, (a small town about 20 miles from Lafayette) talked me into moving back here. He was sure that I could get a job in one of the nursery's in town. Sure enough, the first one that I walked into hired me. So, as they say, "I loaded up the truck and moved to Beverly!".
I have never regretted it. I love the weather, our four distinct seasons. I always say that in Indiana when you are just about getting tired of one season, another one comes along. I also don't think that I would survive gardening year round. I love winter for the chance to catch up with things ignored during the Spring and Summer months. And the wonderful anticipation for Spring. I have a good life here, with much of my family close by. It still has a little of that small town feel, and within an hour you can be in Indy if you really need to do some major shopping.
It would be the perfect place to live, if we could just get a Trader Joe's or Wild Oat's, and a Half-Price bookstore.
Thanks to Jodi at Bloomingwriter for suggesting this "sharing" of our garden world, with other garden bloggers. It's been fun to read them all!
(photo's from the Battleground and Lafayette town websites)