We hear about the USDA hardiness zones and most garden centers sell plants with tags clearly marking which zone the plant is best suited for. With few exceptions, gardening success is vitally linked to selecting plants that suit your climate. Our area hardiness zones are Zone 8 and Zone 9.
If you want a low maintenance garden, stick with plants for your zone. But that being said, you can cheat the zones a little. It might be interesting to expand your plant palette and push the limits by creating microclimates.