I've lived in Indiana most of my life. Tennessee is the farthest south I've ever lived, and let me tell you, things are different here! Weather wise, it's a wonderful thing. While I was out walking the dogs today, I saw more trees with buds than not, and I even saw a butterfly today! Well, I've seen a couple others, but this was a big one.
After doing some research, I think I saw an Eastern Black Swallowtail Butterfly. Crazy, right? Turns out, they are active as early as February. Aren't they pretty?
I've also seen all sorts of daffodils too. In Indiana, daffodil time is a good month or so from now. My part of Tennessee is Zone 6a-6b. Where I lived in Indiana, we were a Zone 5b. Each Zone is 10 degrees F warmer or colder in winter. So my part of TN is 10-15 degrees warmer in winter than where we lived in Indiana. Since we live in the East, relying on the USDA Zone Map is a pretty safe bet. If you live in the West, though, the map is less reliable.
The Zone Map can be found here, along with an explanation of each zone and other great gardening tips. When looking at plants or seeds, always use the Zone guidelines to know when to plant.
I'm going to explore a patio/porch garden this year. I'll let you know what I come up with.