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USDA Hardiness Planting Zones

To determine if a plant is sufficiently cold-hardy, the USDA created numbered zones indicating winter low temperatures; the lower the zone number the colder the winter.

  • If the coldest winter temperature expected in your area is -15°F (zone 5) then any plants rated zones 3-5 will survive the winter temperatures in your area.
  • If you live in very warm winter areas (zones 9-11) plants with zones 3-4 ratings are not recommended. The lack of freezing winter temperatures do not provide a time for winter dormancy (rest).

Massachusetts Meadow Still Going Strong!

Over 15 years ago, Arlene Handschuch and Steve Kaufman sent a photo of Steve on a hill on their property in the midst of a big bloom of lupines and daisies.

They loved their new meadow, and we loved the photo, so the next year, we published it in our Seed Catalog, which we were sending all over the country in those days. The page from that catalog showing Steve and othere success stories of the time is at right. 
Today, our catalog is gone (we’re internet only), but the meadow isn’t. Arlene and Steve still enjoy it every year. Here’s their story in Arlene’s recent note which she sent to us, enclosing the old catalog page and the new photo below.

Dear American Meadows:
I’m sending a scanned page from your seed catalog in the early 90’s. You published a photo I sent you showing my husband standing in our wildflower meadow. I’m also enclosing a new photo showing Steve standing in approximately the same place in this same meadow yesterday. The meadow is still gorgeous; Steve’s hair color is about the only thing that has changed over the 15 years that we have enjoyed our meadow.

We purchased the “Northeast Mixture”, it grew in quickly and for the past 15 years all we do is mow it down every fall. We may water it once during the summer if we have an extended drought. Needless to say, we love our meadow and thought you would enjoy seeing how well it has done for over 15 years.

Yours truly,
Arlene Handschuch and Steven Kaufman
Sherborn, MA

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