WHAT IS A MEADOW?

Meadows are a window into the beauty of the original American landscape. They have long captured the imagination of anyone resisting the cultural domination of the lawn. The meadow stands as an appealing cross between a wild-west prairie and the homogeneous lawn dominating our landscapes. In an age of sustainable gardening, its allure grows even stronger if we consider its ecological benefits including bird and pollinator food sources and shelter, erosion control and storm water runoff management.

A wildflower or native plant meadow is first a functional and interactive plant community teaming with and supporting life, and second a flower garden for all to enjoy. It is not a "meadow in a can" to be bought off the shelf, and while it requires care and planning, it is a worthwhile effort with many benefits. 

WHY DO MEADOWS MATTER?

In the United States, over 24 million acres of lawn surround our homes. As suburban development continues to spread into open and forested land alike, we lose more and more of our native vegetation and wildlife habitat.

By replacing a part or all of your lawn with native plants, you not only create a dynamic and beautiful landscape, you also provide critically important habitat, food and a refuge to attract a variety of wildlife.

MEADOW EXPECTATIONS

•  Once established, meadows are beautiful and require less maintenance.

•  Meadows are not as neat and tidy as mowed lawns.

•  Meadows, and even small plantings of native plants, provide important resting and feeding areas for birds and other pollinators.

•  Meadows can be established with seed or live plants. If using live plants, landscape plugs are a common choice as they are small, cheaper than large container plants and easy to install. A combination of seed and plugs can also be used to balance costs and create faster results.

MEADOW MAKING ADVICE AND STEP-BY-STEP INSTRUCTIONS

This section currently under construction. Check back after June 1 for more information!

NATIVE SPECIES RECOMMENDATIONS AND PLANT PROFILES

Click on the plant name for more detail.

Photos courtesy of Ernst Conservation Seeds, Inc.

PERENNIALS

Aster laevis (Symphyotrichum l.) - Smooth Blue Aster

Aster novae-anglia (Symphyotrichum n.) New England Aster

GRASSES

ANNUALS

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