Answer: You're in USDA Zone 10, which is virtually free of winter chill and is dominated by balmy ocean influences. It stretches along parts of the California coast and covers the tip of Florida.
Microclimates develop within cities, neighborhoods, and even your own yard due to elevation (including low spots), influence of bodies of water, and protection from tall trees or buildings. One of the best sources I have found for determining at least a reasonable assessment of gardening zones is through Sunset Western Garden Book. The publishers have taken into account the major elements (elevation and proximity to water) to further divide the USDA zones into mini-zones. The book also lists plants that are likely to thrive in all gardening zones. Your library should have a copy of the book (ISBN# 0-376-03851-9)
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