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Ten Of Our Favorite Plant Combinations

With fall planting right around the corner, we’re planning and scheming up new combinations to add to our gardens. To help you do the same, we’ve put together some of our favorite plant combinations that can be added to the garden this fall. Enjoy!

  1. Shade Garden Favorite: Astilbe, Coral Bells & Hosta

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  1. Pollinator Paradise: Coneflower & Phlox

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  1. Summer Blooms: Lily, Rudbeckia & Phlox

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  1. Low Maintenance Color: Daylilies & Coneflower

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  1. Late Season Blooms: AsterRudbeckia

  1. Spring Bouquet Garden: Peonies & Iris

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  1. Classic Wildflower Combination: Rudbeckia & Echinacea

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  1. Butterfly Buffet: Daylilies & Butterfly Weed

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  1. Easy-to-Grow Wildflower Combination: Daisies & Lupine

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  1. Spring Pop of Color: Purple Tulips & White Miniature Daffodils

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  1. Colorful Spring Wildflowers: Red Poppies & Blue Cornflower

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August 27, 2015 · Amanda Shepard · No Comments
Tags: , , , , ,  · Posted in: Flower Bulbs, Gardening in Fall, Gardening in Spring and Summer, How-Tos, Perennials, Wildflowers

A Garden In Perkins Cove, Maine: Part II

Last July, I took a trip to Ogunquit, Maine, and was awestruck by the beauty of the gardens in the little seacoast town. I captured photos of one of my favorite gardens for our blog and this season, I returned for more! This year, I visited in August, which meant there were different varieties blooming against the same gorgeous background. Enjoy!

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Wild Lilies.

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Daylilies.

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Oriental Lily.

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Daisies, Hostas & Daylilies.

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Astilbe & Daylilies.

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Liatris & Daylilies.

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Astilbe & Daylilies.

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Oriental Lily Stargazer.

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Astilbe & Daylilies.

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Astilbe.

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Astilbe.

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Liatris & Daylilies.

August 17, 2015 · Amanda Shepard · Comments Closed
Tags: , , , , ,  · Posted in: Gardening in Fall, Gardening in Spring and Summer

Get This Look: Hyacinths And Daffodils

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Daffodils & Grape Hyacinths

It’s as easy as “dig, drop done” in the fall to create a colorful, diverse display of spring color with Daffodils and Hyacinths. These two varieties compliment each other well with bold, vibrant colors at the same time each year, multiplying as the seasons go on. Daffodils and Hyacinths are also deer resistant, offering an added protection against hungry critters in your yard! We’ve put together some of our favorite customer combinations of Daffodils and Hyacinths below for some garden inspiration. Enjoy!

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As you can see, Daffodil Bulbs are larger than Grape Hyacinth bulbs and should be planted deeper.

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Daffodils & Blue Hyacinths

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Daffodils & Grape Hyacinths

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Daffodils & Pink Hyacinths

Daffodils & Mixed Hyacinths

 

 

August 9, 2015 · Amanda Shepard · Comments Closed
Tags: , , , , ,  · Posted in: Flower Bulbs, Gardening in Fall, How-Tos

Best Wildflowers For Attracting Monarchs To The Garden

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Who doesn’t love a visit to the garden from a colorful Monarch? These creatures not only provide amusement for the gardener, but also offer essential pollination to the garden and ecosystem. We’ve put together the best wildflower varieties for attracting (and feeding) Monarchs in the garden all season long.

Milkweed

Milkweed is commonly associated with Monarch butterflies and it sure is a magnet for these species! Try planting Butterfly Weed, Common Milkweed, Whorled Milkweed or Swamp Milkweed this fall for a butterfly buffet in your garden next season. Shop all varieties of Milkweed for fall planting here.

Learn all about growing Milkweed in our blog here.

Joe Pye Weed

Growing as tall as 5 or even 6 ft., Joe Pye Weed blooms with big hydrangea-like lavender blooms on the top of strong stems in the late summer into fall. Usually seen wild on the East Coast, this Monarch favorite loves sunny, wet spots in the garden.

Stiff Goldenrod

This native perennial is easy to grow and adaptable, illuminating the late season garden. The colorful, bright yellow blooms are magnets for butterflies, especially Monarchs.

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Zinnia

Zinnia seeds are some of the easiest to grow, coming up and blooming in the first season in almost any garden. Monarchs love these colorful flowers because they bloom all season long, offering an abundance of pollen.

Sulphur Cosmos

Sulphur Cosmos are another variety that blooms all season long, giving Monarchs a known spot to come for food. These Cosmos are extremely easy to grow and come in shades of yellow and orange.

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Sweet Alyssum

Looking for quick, easy color in your garden? Sweet Alyssum is an easy-to-grow annual that blooms in just weeks, attracting butterflies to and from the garden all season long.

Indian Blanket

This native wildflower creates a fields of flaming red in the plains and desert states, but will also grow nicely in any sunny spot.

Can’t decide which Monarch attracting varieties to plant in your garden this season? Try our new Perennial Monarch Collection and Annual Monarch Collection.

August 1, 2015 · Amanda Shepard · Comments Closed
Tags: , , ,  · Posted in: Gardening in Fall, Gardening in Spring and Summer, Wildflowers

5 Reasons Why Fall Is The Best Time to Plant

 

Although spring is often thought of as the best time to plant, adding perennials, bulbs, wildflowers and shrubs to the garden in the fall gives plants a head start for their first season. We’ve put together our top five reasons why we love fall planting.

1. Get a jump-start on spring growth. Planting perennials and wildflowers in the fall gives them a head start in the spring. Plants will start to grow once the ground thaws, before you could have worked the soil and planted in the spring. Wildflowers will bloom earlier and often you will get flowers on your perennials in the first season if they were planted in the fall

2. The cool weather. If the hot, sweaty weather isn’t for you, try gardening in the fall! The crisp, cool air makes for an enjoyable experience leisurely planting and working outside in the garden.

3. Less water. The colder weather helps eliminate evaporation and shorter days means photosynthesis slows down, resulting in your new plants requiring less water than if planted in the spring.

4. Spring-blooming bulbs need to winter over. Do you love colorful varieties such as tulips, daffodils and more? These bulbs need to be planted in the fall and require a wintering-over time to provide gorgeous, cheerful spring blooms.

5. Less stress. The colder weather in fall also causes less stress on your new plants, allowing for the root systems to establish themselves in a comfortable environment before the winter.

We have a variety of wildflower seeds, bulbs and perennials for fall planting that you won’t find in the big box stores. Happy fall gardening!

 

July 25, 2015 · Amanda Shepard · One Comment
Tags: , , , ,  · Posted in: Flower Bulbs, Gardening in Fall, Perennials, Wildflowers

Enter Our Summer Garden Giveaway

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Stop dreaming about that perfect outdoor space and take action! Build a pollinator oasis, create a wildflower meadow, raise your own chickens, or plant native perennials. Let the 2015 Summer Garden Giveaway be your inspiration.

All you have to do is click here and enter your email address for the chance to win a $100 gift certificate (awarded weekly), or you could win the grand prize, a $250 gift certificate!

Build the garden of your dreams with American Meadows.

The Summer Garden Giveaway ends September 15th. Sign up today!

July 21, 2015 · Ashley Watson · Comments Closed
Tags: , , , , ,  · Posted in: Contests, Gardening in Fall

Customer Garden Highlight: Low-Maintenance Wildflowers And Perennials In Vermont

One of our customers in Williston, Vermont, plants wildflowers each season along with their multitude of perennial gardens that require “almost no work,” says homeowner Liz.

They planted our Northeast Wildflower Mix on the side of their house three years ago and it has naturalized into a low-maintenance wildflower garden that brings them delight each year, all season long. A bonus is the fact that most of the varieties are native, making it a buffet for pollinators.

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In the front of their house, which has a lot of foot traffic from a busy sidewalk, they planted hundreds of Daffodils several season ago. Now, they add Wildflowers each year and plant the section of the garden closest to the sidewalk with our Fragrant Mix. This gives walkers-by a treat for the eyes and the nose! They also added our Summer Splash Mix to give the space extra color this season.

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The low maintenance perennial gardens in the back of the property feature ferns, hostas, bee balm, daylilies, astilbe and much more.
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July 19, 2015 · Amanda Shepard · Comments Closed
Tags: , , , ,  · Posted in: Customer Stories, Gardening in Fall, Gardening in Spring and Summer, Perennials, Wildflowers

American Meadows Celebrates Fourth of July with Wildflowers

AMIBlog_4th-of-July-parade-mike-and-ethanAmerican Meadows owners Mike Lizotte (the Seed Man) and Ethan Platt (inside the truck) posing for the camera as everyone waits for the start of the parade.

This year American Meadows celebrated the 4th of July by making our debut appearance in Williston’s Fourth of July Parade in Williston, Vermont. Everyone in the office pitched in to make this a successful and fun event. Anyone who was available helped decorate the truck and march in the parade to hand out candy and our Red, White and Blue seed packets. Many of the parade’s spectators were pleasantly surprised to receive free wildflower seeds!

AMIBlog-4th-parade-rwb-seed-packetOur playful, red, white and blue design is perfect for the 4th of July and other patriotic celebrations. Hand out at barbecues, business events, parades, and more. This packet contains quick-blooming red, white and blue wildflowers.

The AMI staff’s children were also able to get involved riding decorated bikes alongside their parents and waving to the crowd. We also have our own professional Scottish bagpipe band on staff. Hazen Metro and Shannon Morse are members of the Catamount Pipe Band, and they volunteered to march in front of the truck and entertain the crowd. And of course, we had to have a couple of “pollinators” in our crew, as you can see in the background in one of the pictures below.

AMIBlog_4th-of-July-parade-children-with-truck-2Various members of AMI staff members’ children preparing to get on their bikes or walk with the adults. Left to Right: Evan, Lily, Cora, Adia, Sadie, Margot, and Eva.

AMIBlog_4th-of-July-parade-hazen-and-shannon-marchingHazen and Shannon, who are members of the Scottish bagpipe band, Catamount Pipe Band, performed Scottish bagpipe music as they walked in front of the truck.

AMIBlog-bikes-and-beesHR Director, Chrystie Sands and her son, Evan, waving to the crowd. Web Developer, Genevieve Curry, and Customer Service Manager, Leigh Couture volunteered to wear bee costumes on a hot day so that the important pollinators were represented too!

AMIBlog_4th-of-July-parade-AMI_truck-en_routeWith his daughter sitting next to him, Ethan was the official “float captain” for the parade.

AMIBlog_4th--parade-groupLeft image: Adia, Sadie, and Margot smiling for the cameras. Right image: Ethan and his daughter, Cora, at the end of the parade.

Hundreds of people showed up on Saturday to watch the mile-long parade to cheer and wave to parade participants. This year’s theme for the Williston fourth of July parade was “Community,” and we couldn’t think of better way to celebrate community than to share our love for planting. After all, every community starts by putting down roots. We hope that everyone who received our seed packets enjoys watching their red, white, and blue wildflowers grow! For more information on how to grow wildflowers, check out our handy wildflower planting guide.

We would like to thank everyone at the parade for helping to make this a great way to celebrate the fourth. Lastly, thanks to the town of Williston for naming us Best Business in this year’s parade! We look forward to participating again next year, and we hope to see our Vermont customers there too!

AMIBlog_Best_Business_AwardShannon in our front garden holding our Best Business ribbon we received at the Williston, Vermont 2015 Fourth of July Parade.

Text, Seed Packet and Ribbon photos by Ashley Watson. All other photos taken by Noah Dater.

July 10, 2015 · Heather Viani · One Comment
Tags: , , , , , ,  · Posted in: Company event, In The News, Wildflowers

Extend Your Garden With Fall-Flowering Crocus

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When the season winds down in fall and blooms starts to fade, it can make a gardener get a little, well, gloomy. A fantastic, fun way to get rid of these late-season blues is by planting fall-flowering crocus in the late summer months. These quick-blooming beauties add jewel-toned colors to the fall garden and are extremely easy to grow.

These late-season bloomers are also perennials, multiplying each year, and will quickly become a staple of your fall garden.

Saffron Crocus

Crocus sativus

This purple-blooming variety is the most popular fall-flowering crocus, due to the high demand and price of the spice made from this flower’s stamens: saffron. It’s easy to harvest, dry and then store the stamens to use in your favorite culinary creations. Learn how in our blog here.

Not interested in the spice? No problem. This easy-to-grow crocus adds elegance to the garden and in containers. You can also plant Saffron Crocus indoors on a sunny windowsill.

Fall-Flowering Crocus and Colchicum

These varieties bloom so quickly it’s like magic. Plant in August, either in the ground or in containers, and within days you’ll see them poking through the soil. Coming in a variety of pinks, purples and white, Crocus and Colchicum create a unique, colorful statement in your late season garden.

Each bulb will produce about 5-10 stems, creating a multitude of blooms just when you need them most – In the fall!

July 7, 2015 · Amanda Shepard · Comments Closed
Tags: , , , , ,  · Posted in: Flower Bulbs, Gardening in Fall

Our Customers Say it Best: Spark Day

Carol's Sparky's October

To the plant experts at American Meadows:

Spark Day 2015 posterI thought you might enjoy knowing how far and wide your “Sparky Marigold” seeds have spread. Six years ago I started a holiday called “Spark Day” that was inspired by a little dog named Sparky who had come from a shelter in West Virginia and who had lived a rotten life of disregard. When he came home to me, he had the good life: A home, warm bed, friends, food, comfort, vet care.  He was happy.  But he never made it to his one year anniversary in a home, something I had been hoping for him to have.  He was a very old dog and had lived a very hard life.  But he was also very appreciative.

Honoring that, I decided the anniversary of his adoption should be something we celebrated rather than mourned so I decided, along with his many fans — he had come to me with a following — that we should celebrate “Spark Day” a day to celebrate “The Spark of Life” that abounds all around us.  After all, that’s how Sparky got his name: he had collapsed and the shelter director didn’t think he would survive, but when he perked up the next day at the shelter, she decided to call him Sparky.  We celebrate this day by doing life-affirming things.  It is not a day ABOUT Sparky, but INSPIRED by him.  It is not about dogs or animal rescue per se, though those pursuits are life-affirming.  There are many life-affirming things that people do and so people mark it their own ways.  Then at a pre-arranged time in the evening, everyone pauses and raises a glass in a toast and we metaphorically “clink” over the distance at the “Spark Moment”.  We have been doing this six years now. Spark Day is May 16th.

As the founder of Spark Day, I searched for something special to help unify all of us in this holiday and mark the occasion with beauty in some life-affirming way.  As I was shopping for spring plants that first year at your site, I came upon “Sparky Marigold” seeds.  I could not believe it!  I bought a bunch and then bought little envelopes and made them up with special labels for Spark Day and sent them out to the people celebrating.  Everyone enjoyed them and month’s later people would send me the pictures of their Sparky Flowers!  I mixed Sparky Marigolds with some wildflower blends you had that included perennials as well as annuals, thus the mix included seeds that burned brightly but briefly like Sparky and some that would return, like Sparky’s message of behaving in a life-affirming way.

Carol's Sparkies...in honor of Barney

Spark Day has grown over these years and this year people in 17 states celebrated on May 16th, each person receiving a seed packet of Sparky Marigolds mixed with a variety of seeds from your different pollinator blends to support those creatures who help support the life that’s out there. Each year I made up a Spark Day card and send it out to those on my list, but more people receive Sparky Seeds than just those to whom I send them, as the shelter, Wetzel County Animal Shelter in New Martinsville, WV , also sends them out as thank you gifts to those who participate in their annual Spark Day Fundraiser to help old dogs like Sparky.

Susan Fair's SparkiesI make out a supply of packets for them to use and they share them.  I also have sent a supply of seeds to a pre-kindergarten teacher I know who did a whole Spark Day unit with the four year olds in her class.  Those little kids took great care to grow personal Sparky Pots for their mothers to receive on Mother’s Day as well as tending to a Sparky Garden they planted at their school and they took extra seeds home to plant, some families deciding to plant them in community gardens to share with still more people.  This year I made up 573 Sparky Seed packets.  I mailed out 243 packets to all those different states and then took 330 into work with me on Spark Day Eve.

I am a high school teacher and over the years have used this holiday to teach beyond the standard literary curriculum to encourage community involvement and to help them see avenues to apply the lessons literature teaches.  Over these past six years, both students and staff have come to anticipate Spark Day, sometimes asking me well in advance for the seeds.  They have brought comfort to many going through tough times (e.g. cancer, loss of a loved one, personal stress, etc.) and have brightened the days of so many for months to come.  People I do not even know by name stop me in the halls to show me pictures of their Sparky Flowers on their cell phones.  It’s wonderful!  I went into work on Spark Day Eve with 330 seed packets; before the next week was over, I had no more left.  I gave them to people at work, at the pet stores where I shop, at the banks I use, at the restaurant where I celebrated Spark Day with many friends.  All of these people are planting these seeds and in the coming months I’ll put a call out for them to send in pictures to post on the shelter’s Facebook page for all to see.

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So I hope you will never stop selling your Sparky Marigold blend and I hope you enjoy seeing the pictures from many people who have sent them to me in celebration of the Spark of Life and Spark Day.

Enjoy — and thank you!

Sincerely,

Michele K.

 

June 28, 2015 · Amanda Shepard · One Comment
Tags: , ,  · Posted in: Customer Stories, Gardening in Fall, Gardening in Spring and Summer, Wildflowers