1. Illinois State Champion White Oak (Quercus a.) near McNabb, Il.

    May 2, 2017 by MAX

    What a monster! To stand near this great plant is awesome! Thought to be at least 350 to 400 yrs old. SW of Starved Rock in the entrance to a farmhouse, you too can see it, near the roadside.

    native oaks, record size trees of Illinois

    Record size state champ, White oak. A very lg. tree.

     

    Oaks are an important species in the Midwest and in the Chicagoland area. Encourage oak planting. Many species rely on the oak for food and shelter. The native population of most oak species is on the decline due to disease, changing climate and especially due to invasive species such as buckthorn and Asian honeysuckle. Little to no regeneration of oaks means that as the large specimens as een here decline, we stand to lose a true legacy tree of the Midwest. Red , bur and white oak were the oak species most common a century ago, when fire was a common occurrence on the prairie.

    Today, with lack of fire, they are losing ground. So plant an oak today!

     


  2. Bluebells: a naturalizing beauty for any woodland or shade garden setting (seen here in a Wheaton, Il. landscape)

    by MAX
    native and natural landscapes, shade gardens of Wheaton

    Bluebells a bloomin!
    Virginia Bluebells (Mertensia) in bloom in Wheaton, Il. mid April. Quite a show. Mertensias  naturalize well, come up all over, then quickly vanish.

    Also a bumblebee magnet. Important and early species, provides important nectar for pollinators. Even competes well with invasive species such as garlic mustard!

    Bluebells (Mertensia virg.)  a native woodland ephemeral, good for wooded, shaded and wetter areas. Will spread well if content. Mix with later blooming plants such as fern, hosta, zig zag goldenrod, shrubs such as Spicebush, witchhazels, and pawpaw.

     

     


  3. Dance of the Wood Betony (Pedicularis), a lovely parasitic native

    by MAX
    Native landscape by ed max, butterlfy gardens of wheaton, glen elly woodland native species, west chicago native landscapes, natural landscape by ed max,

    Swirling beauty! This semi parasitic native of our higher quality prairies is quite a sight in spring.   Easily spotted when little else is in bloom in the prairie or oak savanna.

    • Not a plant easily obtained. Not recommended for most gardens – just a fun plant worth knowing and looking for while hiking.
    • Always buy native species (especially rarer types) from known and reputable growers. Never dig plants (such as betony), as they will most likely drop dead upon arrival to your gardens!
    • Inquire for plant lists and growers whom are local.
    • Designer Ed Max is also cert naturalist plus cert arborist, and designs many gardens , woodlands, and other properties (both traditional and naturalistic) and meshes native with non-native species for wonderful and varied garden and landscape!

  4. A woodland garden comes into bloom

    April 30, 2017 by MAX

     

     

    wheaton il landscape comapnies, wheaotn il designers

    Shade gardens and wooded landscape renovations. Adding in azaleas, redbud, native perennials, and hydrangeas.

     

    shade gardens , bleeding heart,

    shade gardens , bleeding heart,


  5. Native species for our native places (like that unsightly border you view out there)

    February 11, 2017 by MAX
    Shade beds, native wildflowers of our woodlands, low maint. ,

    Natural landscapes, with Redbud, bluebells, native plants!

    How many borders do we all stare out at that LACK any sort of function or beauty? Suburbia is loaded with nasty untended and overgrown borders between properties. Full of mulberry (origin: China), Buckthorn (origin: Eurasia), Various honeysuckles (Origin: Asia). None of which do anything but cost monies to remove or maintain.

    Why not cut it out, plant in something worth looking at, AND benefits the local wildlife such as pollinators and monarchs, song birds etc? As I write the statistics bear out some grim news: monarch populations down 80 -90% in the last 25 years, hundreds of song birds- all on the decline.  YOU can help by renovating that border: plant in native shrubs, add a swath of native perennials and prairie species, even add some evergreen for screening (and cover for birds). It’s fun, and rewarding! Contact me for a list of native plants, for color, and healthful attributes for the birds and bees! Pictured is a red monarda in this Naperville landscape design.

    Native Naperville landscapes by Ed Max, maxlandscape.com

    Monarda hybrid (but still a native) is a true magnet for all pollinators, hummingbirds, and butterflys.                         Plant native species !

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Contact us for a list of beneficial trees, shrubs and native perennials for your gardens soon!

     

     

     


  6. Another landscape design and renovation in Oak Park, Il. by Max’s Greener Places

    January 29, 2017 by MAX
    new landscapes and landscape designs in oak park and river forest by ed max

    A view of this lovely home of Oak Park before we began the landscape design and renovations.

    50 yr old shrubs removed, new stone retaining walls added, plus new shrubs and perennials.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Oak Park landscape company, Ed Max, Oak Park landscape designer,

    Landscape designs, and landscape renovations seen here after the tear out and stone wall construction in Oak Park.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Contact Ed for landscape ideas and consultations now!

     

     

     

     


  7. Brighten up those darker areas with Annabelle Hydrangea, as in this Naperville landscape and shade garden.

    January 6, 2017 by MAX
    Shrubs for shade by Ed Max, landscape designs in Naperville Il,Naperville Il landscape company,

    A cultivar of the native Hydrangea arborescens, this beauty called Annabella Hydrangea has been around a while, but still fits it’s niche in a woodland or shade garden landscape.
    This Naperville landscape project had an emphasis on light colored blooms , and white flowers to light up a dark border bed, or liven up a moon garden. Seen here after dark, this shrub blooms in eatly to mid summer. The bloom fades to a green then brown as it dries.
    Simply cut back to knee high in late winter (important). Feeding is not necessary, just water when dru. That’s it. Easy to divide as well.
    One of our go to plants for shade gardens, naturalistic landscapes, and on terraced walls.


  8. A victorian era townhome landscape design- in the Frank Lloyd Wright district of Oak Park , Il

    January 4, 2017 by MAX
    Vintage landscape of Oak Park, Il, River Forest vintage designs, old fashion plantings, Oak Park landscape designs by Ed Max.

    What a gem is this unique 1890’s era townhome in the town of Oak Park, Il. And what a unique opportunity to landscape this small space!
    Located just to the south of a rather significant Frank Lloyd Wright home, this is in the heart of the historic Oak Park area. The front is terraced, and framed out in impressive limestone edgers, dating back over 100 years.                                   The soils are intact- meaning deep loam throughout this area. There were not massive earth moving vehicles then, so we enjoy deep black soils; a rarity out in the suburbs. Back in the day, they just dug a hole to fit the loose stone foundations. Adding the new plants and creating this design was exciting.
    We’ve added in some vintage landscape species here: hydrangea, bulbs, and azalea, but used manay other more ‘modern’ species that fit this small site and shade situation.                            Native species such as Little Bluestem and Prairie Dropseed grasses, Bluebells, Rosanne geranium, and sedges for seasonal color, plus a touch of small but beguiling specie tulip, which do well in these habitats, and naturalize well.

     

     

     

    20161111_120222

     

    designs by landscape designer Ed Max

    Vintage landscapes , new design at this 1890’s era home in Oak Park, Il.

     

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    Contact Ed Max and Max’s Greener Places soon for spring designs ,updated landscapes, seasonal bed care and more.

    Maxlandscape.com. Oak Park, Il, landscape designs by Ed Max


  9. Fine foliage of the Maidenhair Fern (seen in this Wheaton Il. shade garden)

    January 2, 2017 by MAX
    Woodland species, native ferns of the Chicagoland area, native landscapes by Ed Max and max's greener places

    Maidenhair fern has an unusual leaf, with black stems. Landscape designer Ed Max’s favorite native fern.

     

    Contact Max’s Greener Places for spring designs and installations!

     


  10. A unique (and vintage) landscape design and renovation

    February 8, 2016 by MAX
    Vintage landscapes in River Forest and Oak Park. Landscaping in Oak Park.

    This was a fun project- we began with a clean slate here in leafy River Forest. Deep rich soils help to establish this varied palette of shrubs and perennials, seen here in its 3rd season.