by Mike Lizotte

Summer's been flexing its muscle this week with a heat wave across much of the country! Hopefully we've all been able to beat the heat and take some time to enjoy our gardens this season. It's always important that if you're out gardening in these warm conditions don't forget your sunscreen and I always recommend a water bottle to keep yourself hydrated when working up a sweat pulling weeds or harvesting your veggies!

I really enjoy this time of year as I get a chance to update you on various projects and plantings we've been a part of this summer.

Giving back to my alma mater in a different way!

The phone rings, "Hello Mr. Lizotte...Would you like to give a monetary donation?" We've all been solicited at one time or another to give money back to our alma maters. Well this summer I've been able to give back in a different way!

Working with Associate Professor of Horticulture Mark Starrett at the University of Vermont, American Meadows made a generous donation of plant material that is now being planted all around campus. There were a number of projects that called for perennials and flowers but funds were scarce. We were able to provide a number of bare roots and plug perennials that students potted and cared for, that are now being planted. It's very rewarding for me to be giving back to the university, at the same time knowing the beautification that's taking place around campus.

Better late than never!

Here in the northeast we had a very, very wet spring. With all the rain and cool weather, most gardening activities got a late start. We planted most of our company veggie garden during the first and second weeks of June. But even with this late start our vegetables are thriving. I'm always amazed once the temperatures begin to warm here how quickly things grow. We've begun to harvest our peas, beans, zucchini, lettuce, radish, squash and more. It's great coming into the office each day and enjoying snacking on fresh veggies all day!

Still going strong!

I dropped in on the Vazquez residence to see how their 17 acre wildflower planting is progressing. Hard to believe it's been 3 years since my first blog entry on their planting. It's July and we see lots of mid-summer favorites such as Black-eyed Susan and Rudbeckia gloriosa - Gloriosa Daisy. You also see plenty of Dacus carota – Queen Anne’s lace. Although considered invasive in many states and not included in any of our mixtures, it's found in abundance up and down the east coast and can add a nice slash of white to the meadow.

So I hope that everyone is enjoying their time in the garden this summer. Keep sending your stories and photos as we always like to share and post with all our fellow gardeners. Don't forget about our Photo Contest. We've received over 500 entries and you've only got a few more weeks. Get out there and snap some photos!

Happy Gardening from the Seed Man and your friends at American Meadows!

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