I have not purchased from American Meadows, but my wife did start a pollinator garden in our side yard garden bed. We have swamp milkweed, common milkweed, butterfly weed, echinacea, new York aster, white wood aster, wild bergamot, thin leaved mountain mint, brown eyed Susan, wild geranium, wild ginger, foam flower, lupine (from Maine and a nitrogen fixer), and wild columbine. I will HIGHLY recommend thin leaved mountain mint as it literally has over a hundred different insects visiting daily for a large portion of the summer. Wild bergamot is beautiful and attracts our hummingbirds but it gets to be about 6 feet tall once it’s started. The thin leaved mountain mint will slowly creep and take over a small area which for attracting pollinators is great but not good if you plant shorter things near it.
My main resistance to the meadow is my assumption that most things would be pretty tall and also roughly the same height.
I have done mass zinnia plantings and love that but was looking for maybe something different.
Do you have a lot of height and texture difference?
I have some height and texture difference. My planting is not exactly a garden. I am growing it as a wild meadow. I have tons of variety out there including some weeds (mostly thistle. I have also planted some pears out there.
Thistle is a perfectly good pollinator! Some are also edible if cooked while young if memory serves correctly.
I have the nasty Canadian thistle (I think). It’s not too bad. The bees love it but it is very poky and out competes the other flowers.
I grow all those in north Georgia and they do well . The one exception from your list is lavender. It hates my clay soil and always dies so I stopped trying with it. I would add St. John’s wort , phlox and vitex to your list.
i had a weedy steep ditch that was a pita to mow so i killed it all with herbicde and 2 weeks after spread a mix of shade and sunloving perenial seed on that bank i got at TSC. i also added seed from mint, creeping thyme, sweet williams, lupines and crown vetch. so far its all growing well. some grass/ weeds came back in there so i spot sprayed last fall to kill the grass and
reseeded those areas. should fill back in come spring. so far the best growers are lupines and crown vetch. i have alot of wild yarrow in there that i let grow but its so vigorous it out competes every thing other than the biggest plants. native is best so i leave it alone. my nieghbors have commented on how nice the ditch looks come summer with all the blooms. the old dead grass and weeds acts as a nursery for the seeds you put back on, protecting them from birds and holding moisture.
Thanks! Yes I tried lavender in a different, shadier spot and it died over its first winter.
This area is sunnier so I’ve considered it.
Really appreciate all the conversation here.
Definitely gives me a lot to think about.
If you look on my YouTube channel (Triloba Tracker), you can see the area I’ve prepped in the Turkey day tour video.
It’s basically a rectangle and will get some afternoon shade, but I’d call it full sun.
I’m thinking of dividing it in strips with paths in between. I could do different things in each strip…
my spot is mostly shaded by my pines by noon then dappled shade the rest of the afternoon. reason i mixed the sun loving and shade loving seed in there. figured they would adapt to the best for that spot .worked so far. damned creeping charlie keeps trying to get in there but stays down low as its to dry and gravelly further up the bank. the lupines really love the gravelly soil and theyre reseeding the bank like crazy. also helping fix nitrogen for the other flowers. when picking wild field strawberries, the ones growing around the lupines grow much bigger with bigger berries even though theyre shaded more.
American Meadows certainly didn’t have good reputation on the watchdog. Too bad, since I was just looking at them for pretty good prices on Gladiolus. Anyone have a good suggestion for reasonably priced Glads?
It’s Ok, you can blame me. I know you like flowers anyhow with a ‘handle’ like Lavender!
Your climate and lavender should work well. Lavender and rosemary both tend to get too wet and the roots rot here. Plus bad winters can be too cold once every 20 or so years.
i have my lavender growing on a well draining mound. i cover it with snow early to protect it from the cold. has survived here 3 years so far. it really loved our drought and heat last summer.
I’ve had good luck with American Meadows. They’re one of my favorite sources - they make it so easy to find wildflowers appropriate for my zone and qualities (e.g. native vs introduced).
Edit: I use them because they’re neonic free (bee friendly).
I did buy from them in the past, maybe one or two plants died. I forgot whether they reimbursed me or not.