1. Rare and beautiful White Ladies Slipper Orchid (Cypripedium candidum), a beguiling and shy native not suited to most of our landscapes

    May 19, 2017 by MAX

    And best left in the wild!, as seen here, and in nice numbers at this rather secluded and secret site near West Chicago, Winfield areas. A super rare native orchid-  mostly due to illegal,(and  bone-headed) harvesting from the wild. When dug in bloom, mortality rate is off the charts.  Endangered in most northern states, l,isted as threatened in Il.,

    Best admired, and photographed, but leave alone and enjoy this cool plant structure!

     

    native and natural landscaping in West Chicago Il, Wheaton Il natural shade beds, landscapes by ed amx

    White ladies slipper mid may 17, and native species of prairies, Midwest landscapes

    A denizen of wet prairies and fen habitats, with few remaining, so habitat is critical.

     


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

    May 2, 2017 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. 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.


  4. 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.


  5. Our Oak Park landscapes 2015 (by Max’s Greener Places, Ed Max)

    December 22, 2015 by MAX
    landscapes and patios design, oak park, il, maxlandscape.com

    Oak Park Il vintage looking pavers utilized to compliment the new addition to the rear of this 110+ yr old home.

    Copthorne pavers evoke a look of vintage Oak Park and River Forest of the early 1900's.

    Copthorne pavers evoke a feel of an earlier time in Oak Park and River Forest. This clay paver holds up well under our Chicagoland climate.

     

    Winter is the time to begin consultation and designs for your new landscapes in 2016. Call or email Ed now!


  6. An increasingly rare wildflower seen in this native wildflower garden in Oak Park Il, (pic by landscape designer and naturalist Ed Max @ maxlandscape.com

    by MAX
    OaBrook Il landscaping beds full of natibe species and woodland perennials.

    Close relative of the colorful Bleeding Heart, but native and becoming rarer in our increasingly degraded ecosystems of the Chicago region. Rare plants are a passion of Ed Max, and restoring their habitats is Ed’s mission as well as his landscape company.

    Plant in spring in a rich soil, in full shade or part sun.  All Spring Ephemerals such as this dicentra tend to appear early, and vanish just as quickly. With luck, proper soils, and moisture- you will get this cool wildflower to reproduce and naturalize, as it has done here in this Oak Park, Il. landscape  (designed by Ed Max of Max’s Greener Places).

    Contact us now to plan your wildflower garden. Good for you and the pollinators!!!!

     

     


  7. Destructive Pine sawflies on Mugho Pine in Wheaton Il. Contact certified arborist Ed Max for consultation on your trees and shrubs.

    December 21, 2015 by MAX
    Arborist Ed Max of West Chicago Il

    Pine sawfly can strip your mugho and scotch pine foliage. Feeding on last years foliage will leave the plants  looking ragged. Planting species that are not on the sawfly menu helps as does being on alert in early spring and removal before the damage is done. A hard spray of water, shaking the shrubs, or applying BT ( a natural bacteria)Contact certified arborist Ed Max through the contact us button above for advice on your landscapes soon.

     

     

     

     

     


  8. The benefits of fire on this small remnant prairie in Carol Stream, Il, lit by naturalist Ed Max and crew of Max’s Greener Places

    by MAX
    caring for rare plants and controlled burns by Ed Max of West Chicago, Il., prairie plants and fire.

    Fire is the key ingredient to maintaining these few prairie remnants we have left in the Chicagoland area, like this one near Wheaton and Carol Stream IL,
    Experienced naturalist and landscape designer Ed Max led his team on this annual burn. As seen in this picture…it was a success!
    Fire keeps the invasives at bay, and recycles the old growth and debris.
    See maxlandcape.com for more on caring for your open spaces.

    Contact Ed Max for advice and ideas for your prairie, and adding native  species to your landscape palette.

     

     

     

     


  9. Ancient white pine of the U.P. of MI. (the Porkies). White pine in the landscapes of the Midwest.

    October 28, 2015 by MAX

    Within part of a lg swath of old growth forest dwells giants:
    white pine (P.strobus) at 150 ft.n 400 year plus yrs old, 300 yr old Hemlock (Tsuga can.), Massive Yellow birch,Striped maple, and majestic Sugar maples.
    Seen here along the Little Carp Trail Fall 2015

    native pines in our landscapes of the Wheaton area, vergreens and poine are important parts of a good landscape design

    150 ft plus 400 yr old + white pine pinus strobus


  10. White Lady’s Slipper Orchid (Cypripedium can.)

    May 22, 2015 by MAX

    Another good year for these rare (threatened status in Ill.) orchids. I’ve had the uncommon chance to witness two large stands of these beauties in Dupage Co, and two days apart in two diff. areas!
    Fond of fens, and calcareous soils, these native orchids were once plentiful. Now, with few remnant prairies, we need to do all we can to protect their health through habitat quality, such as burning, and keeping invasive species at bay. Slow to reproduce, they also tend to get browsed by hungry deer.

    landscape design by ed max, maxlandscape.com,

    Wheaton native habitats, and landscapes, natural landscapes of the West Chicago area.


    Native landscapes of the western suburbs of Chicago are at your fingertips! Do not dig wild orchids. They can be bought from reputable on-line sources.
    Call us for landscape design services or for a quote to renovate your existing landscpaes and woodlands.