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Caveat emptor – The Best way to spend $9.95!

I was attending a lecture recently from a botany professor at the local university. My ears perked when the topic of wildflowers came up. He showed some slides, talked about some ideas for incorporating wildflowers into landscapes and then proceeded to tell people to look for, “those meadows in a can”. Boy was I really disappointed when I heard those words?

All Annual Wildflower Seed MixBeing passionate gardeners, we all want success. We want the best veggies, best flowers and neighborhood bragging rights. So it’s not unusual that when I’m speaking with a gardener that may have had mixed results with an initial wildflower planting, they are willing to try again. They want results- they want wildflowers!

So I’ll usually begin with asking a simple question, “Where did you get your wildflower seeds?” (You can see where this is going…). “I bought one of those ‘meadows in a can’ at the big box store.” My initial reaction is disappointment that yet another fellow gardener has fallen prey to the fancy, colorful packaging that yielded poor results, at best. Another gardener that spent $9.95 on 95% inert matter and only 5% wildflower seed. No one ever reads the fine print on the back of the can! What is ‘inert matter’? It’s anything but seed, added to make the can bigger and act as a sewing aid. You mind as well be buying and spreading sawdust!

But this disappointment quickly turns into another great opportunity to educate and provide knowledge to my fellow gardening friend in hopes of them establishing a successful wildflower meadow.

So I’ll start with telling them that all true wildflower seed mixtures are just that, wildflower seed! 100% pure, lab tested wildflower seed. Secondly you’re going to find 2-3 times more species in mixtures from companies like American Meadows than you do in a can mix. Variety is important for long term success and also helps combat weeds and grasses. Top mixtures also contain a nice balance of annuals and perennials. Unlike the can mixes that are loaded with mostly annuals, top mixtures are designed to give you not only annual color the first growing season but perennials for the second and successive seasons. Sure, we all want instant gratification but we would also like to enjoy our work for years to come.

At American Meadows, wildflowers are what we do! For almost 30 years we’ve been helping gardeners all across the country establish successful wildflower plantings. For the same $9.95 you spent on the tin can, you can get a full quarter pound of many of our dozens of proven wildflower seed mixtures. If you don’t believe us, listen to what Country Living magazine had to say: http://www.americanmeadows.com/NewsRoom/RecentStories/CountryLiving.aspx. We’re here for you. Ask questions, send pictures and I guarantee it will be the best $9.95 you spend this spring!

May 26, 2010 · Mike Lizotte · 4 Comments
Tags: ,  · Posted in: Gardening in Fall, Gardening in Spring and Summer, Wildflowers

4 Responses

  1. James N. Cain - May 28, 2010

    I just want to say that the American Meadows wildflower seed mixtures are incredible. I have probably ordered 20# over the last 2 years and the results are remarkable. I have been using the Midwest seed mixture and then augmenting it with specific seeds to get the desired results. Much to my dismay, I looked out my back window and a family had put a sofa in the middle of my wildflower field and were taking pictures of their kids with the wildflower background. I bought the ajoining wooded lot and have planted a 60′ x 50′ area with the midwest mix. I’m doing the same with any open area on the 3/4 acre area.

    Thanks for a great product.

  2. Will Holroyd - May 28, 2010

    I am living near Oslo, Norway and am looking for some wildflower seeds for a meadow where the earth has been turned over.
    Our first frost is in October and the last frost can be in May. Latitude is the middle of the Hudson’s Bay.
    Pls recommend whci of your wildflower varieties will suit our region.
    1,000 thanks (tussen tak), Will

  3. Susan - May 28, 2010

    I tried one of those meadows in a can! I was a new gardener, I didn’t know any better! I WONT DO IT AGAIN! Live and learn. I decided on doing a search for NATIVE wildflowers for my area. I found American meadows and never looked back! For the same price I got ALL seeds, no fillers, I got flowers native to my area, so I can put something back. I wanted something that didn’t take much care, since my roses keep me pretty busy. I would plant more, but I doubt my horse would be happy with his field in flowers and not grass.

  4. Claire W - May 28, 2010

    I’ve planted Meadow’s Wildflower Mix for the first time and the first blossoms have opened. Just the rich, healthy foliage got compliments and now everyone is simply in love with the pretty yellow&white, blue&white, mauve&purple little flower-faces ever. Thank you for a wonderful product. Every morning I scurry over to see who’s new in the crowd.
    Claire W.