Designing for your region means understanding and applying proper landscaping techniques for the particular characteristics of your region. The most important element of landscaping is to choose plants that will thrive and continue to thrive year after year. If you do not now consider plants that best sustain themselves in your region, than you will eventually find yourself exasperated with the consequences and costs of replacement.
The climate you habitat, including factors such as sun, precipitation, temperature and wind, determines which plants are the most apt to survive in your landscape. As climate changes throughout the year, you must consider how your plants will fare during each of the four seasons. For instance, a hibiscus that survives year round in Southeast climates will only thrive in the spring and summer in Midwest climates. Do consider plant off seasons.
Although each region of the United States, Northeast, Southeast, Midwest, Northwest and Southwest, do share a few of the major landscape climatology characteristics, temperature and humidity varies according to zone. To best understand zones, study the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone map. Each of the four regions of the United States is expansive enough to encompass several zones because there is a 5 to 10 degree gradient in the average yearly high and low temperature for every 120 miles in either lateral direction. Zone differences in landscaping regions determine whether your plants will eek out life or really burgeon.
In addition to considering regional climate when landscaping, you should take the micro climate of your property into account. Micro climate refers to the factors that determine the climate immediately surrounding your home. If your home lies in an area that receives fall sunlight, it will enjoy a few degrees of extra warmth than those areas of the same climate that do not receive fall sun (in a valley, for example). By the same token, if your property's landscape endures a good amount of deep shade, it will be cooler even if its climate is typically warm. So consider both regional climate and micro climate in finding and planting hardy vegetation for your landscape.