1. Plant it (or let it come in on it’s own), and they will come…

    July 30, 2011 by MAX

    Did you know that the common milkweed is the primary food source for the Monarch butterfly? This plant may just show up in your yard, as it does in mine, where I let them grow. And sooner or later the butterfly larvae show up too ! I find this really exciting to see. After a short time feeding, this beauty will form a chrysalis, pupate, and emerge as an adult Monarch, ready for the arduous journey to central Mexico!

    need all the help we can give them

    The toxic juices of the milkweed are ingested - a defense strategy that makes the butterfly toxic too!

  2. HEAT WAVE 2011 – NOW we get the importance of trees!

    July 21, 2011 by MAX

    With the sun beating down, I wander to Menards parking lot. Funny thing.  ALL the parking spots under the few pathetic locust trees were crammed with cars-all vying for the scant shade, trying desperately to escape the scorching heat of the sun.                             You see it where ever you go.                                                                                                       We need more trees planted, lots of them!   In the upper 90’s to low 100’s this entire week- heat index of 110 plus!        Rough on people, rough on the landscape too!

    Let’s plant more trees.

    she's an old one, 120' spread!


  3. What’s in bloom (early July) – Bottlebrush Buckeye (Aesculus parv.)

    July 18, 2011 by MAX

    In need of a stunning and underutilized beauty? Here it is!  This multi-layered species comes from the SE USA regions, and thrives in dappled shade, or deep shade. It’s mounding habit is eye catching, developing a nice layered habit with age.   Best of all,  the 12 -16″ tall white blooms are fantastic!  Good yellow fall color too.

    Bottlebrush buckeye

    semi native woodland shrub

    attracts pollinators too!

    Lovely anthers, butterfly magnet!


  4. CACTI (native prickly pear)

    July 2, 2011 by MAX

    Not only will this cacti thrive, but will offer bright lemony yellow blooms in summer,followed by edible purple fruits. Grow on dry, south facing slopes for best results, will spread, and does posses wicked thorns!  🙂

    Edible landscapes

    Thorny, but a great bloom in summer!

    West suburban gardens of cactus!