1. Fall colors soon? Time for the fall clean up too? And its time to get the correct pruning practices too, on woody shrubs and trees

    October 17, 2017 by MAX

    With a 3 month drought, followed by well over a half foot of water in one day (Oct 12th)- the tree canopy is stressed to say the least.  And let us not forget the opening of 2017, and the lack of regular winter conditions….2017 has not been of the norm….far from it. Is this the new normal regarding climate change going forward?

    Of course, this stresses out trees and most woody species.

    clean up, fall services , landscape clean up, wheaton il,

    A Glen Ellyn Il fall landscape, witch-hazel in color.

    Wheaton, Winfield fall landscape are fall clean up

    Green Mountain Sugar Maple 14 yrs aft install
    A sturdy native species, good fall colors, seen here in a Wheaton fall landscape

    That said –  my bet is we have a rather lackluster fall color display.  And with the ongoing warmth and wonderful weather (who can complain…. mid Oct,  and nary a forsty morn to date)  So,  who dares complain?  When the fall leaf pick up and seasonal bed care comes on, get in touch. We can set up for the clean up and leaf removal. Designs needs too? Winter season is best for us to begin the landscape design process , and get an early jump in spring. Get in touch soon!

     

     


  2. 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.


  3. Late winter blooms , 3/18/15

    March 18, 2015 by MAX

     

    maxlandscape.com max's greener places,  Ed max, landscape designer, West Chicago landscapers company, landscape consultations of Wheaton,  Glen Ellyn Il landscaping

    Yes, you can have loads of color in mid March, by planting the right mix of early blooming species such as aconites, witchhazels and more. Max can help with that!

    Spring is the time to spruce up the landscapes. Design services, lawn and garden maintenance, spring clean ups, burns, and shrub and tree care avail. West Chicago based landscape company, near Winfield, and Wheaton, St. Charles and Geneva landscape services.


  4. A winter landscape (at the Mo. Botanical Gardens)

    January 25, 2015 by MAX
    arborist info, ed max, maxlandscape.com, tree info

    Bald cypress in the foreground, Dawn Redwoods beyond. At the rear of the photo you can see the original home of founder C.Shaw.

     

     


  5. Patio installation (replacement) and landscaping in West Chicago

    October 6, 2014 by MAX
    maxlandscape.com, landscapers of west chciago, stone and brick patios , paver and brick walkeways, landscape design, Ed Max, West Chicago, Il,

    This product used for new patios and walkways is called ‘Avante Ashalr’ installed by Max’s Greener Places (maxlandscape.com,), a landscape project in West Chicago, Winfield area, new patio and landscaping to follow

    patio and stone design, outdoor landscaping, maxlandscape.com

    old patio made of mortared brick, was a mess,

    Fall 2014, this old decrepit patio has fallen apart, so it was torn out, new walls went in

     

     

     

    patios and landscaping by max's greener palces

    The faux stone (looks like flagstone) went up followed by the new paver patio.

     

     

    before:

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     


  6. Unique landscapes of the Fox Valley area:

    March 27, 2014 by MAX
    native landscapes, maxlandscape.com

    Geneva, Il: White oak, sumacs, sedges,switchgrasses all make up this naturalistic landscape- even the stone is local!


  7. a landscape design takes shape in St. Charles, Geneva Il

    March 16, 2014 by MAX
    A preview we provide as to how your landscapes would appear in the future

    landscape design, maxlandscape.com, ed max

     

     


  8. Unique landscapes & garden designs that include native species, heirlooms

    March 10, 2014 by MAX

    native landscapes, maxlandscape.com

    Native white oak, sumac, switch grasses, sedges, plus geranium and nepetas  as seen in this sun-drenched, dry xeriscape.  Even the stone is local!

    native landscsapes, designs by max's greener places


  9. What a sad day for the Monarch: NYT article.

    November 24, 2013 by MAX

    We have all watched the decline with some worry (well some of us anyway…the rest of the drones of humanity buzz about blithely unaware, plus  many more could really care less.  Now we realize it is here. Can the monarch recover? It is possible, though only time will tell. And a  single climatic event,, either here, or in Mexico could spell real disaster. Extinction?

    WHAT CAN YOU DO? SAVE or PLANT native milkweed. Avoid genetically modified species. The pollen drift from the ‘Franken corn’ that grows in disgusting abundance though the Midwest has helped tip the balance. And on ALL Lepidoptera and other species!

    Advertisement

    News Analysis

    <nyt_headline type=” ” version=”1.0″>The Year the Monarch Didn’t Appear

    Micah Lidberg

    <nyt_byline>

    By 
    Published: November 22, 2013
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    <nyt_text><nyt_correction_top>

    ON the first of November, when Mexicans celebrate a holiday called the Day of the Dead, some also celebrate the millions of monarch butterflies that, without fail, fly to the mountainous fir forests of central Mexico on that day. They are believed to be souls of the dead, returned.

    This year, for or the first time in memory, the monarch butterflies didn’t come, at least not on the Day of the Dead. They began to straggle in a week later than usual, in record-low numbers. Last year’s low of 60 million now seems great compared with the fewer than three million that have shown up so far this year. Some experts fear that the spectacular migration could be near collapse.

    “It does not look good,” said Lincoln P. Brower, a monarch expert at Sweet Briar College.

    It is only the latest bad news about the dramatic decline of insect populations.

    Another insect in serious trouble is the wild bee, which has thousands of species. Nicotine-based pesticides called neonicotinoids are implicated in their decline, but even if they were no longer used, experts say, bees, monarchs and many other species of insect would still be in serious trouble.

    That’s because of another major factor that has not been widely recognized: the precipitous loss of native vegetation across the United States.

    “There’s no question that the loss of habitat is huge,” said Douglas Tallamy, a professor of entomology at the University of Delaware, who has long warned of the perils of disappearing insects. “We notice the monarch and bees because they are iconic insects,” he said. “But what do you think is happening to everything else?”

    A big part of it is the way the United States farms. As the price of corn has soared in recent years, driven by federal subsidies for biofuels, farmers have expanded their fields. That has meant plowing every scrap of earth that can grow a corn plant, including millions of acres of land once reserved in a federal program for conservation purposes.

    Another major cause is farming with Roundup, a herbicide that kills virtually all plants except crops that are genetically modified to survive it.

    As a result, millions of acres of native plants, especially milkweed, an important source of nectar for many species, and vital for monarch butterfly larvae, have been wiped out. One study showed that Iowa has lost almost 60 percent of its milkweed, and another found 90 percent was gone. “The agricultural landscape has been sterilized,” said Dr. Brower.

    The loss of bugs is no small matter. Insects help stitch together the web of life with essential services, breaking plants down into organic matter, for example, and dispersing seeds. They are a prime source of food for birds. Critically, some 80 percent of our food crops are pollinated by insects, primarily the 4,000 or so species of the flying dust mops called bees. “All of them are in trouble,” said Marla Spivak, a professor of apiculture at the University of Minnesota.

    Farm fields are not the only problem. Around the world people have replaced diverse natural habitat with the biological deserts that are roads, parking lots and bluegrass lawns. Meanwhile, the plants people choose for their yards are appealing for showy colors or shapes, not for their ecological role. Studies show that native oak trees in the mid-Atlantic states host as many as 537 species of caterpillars, which are important food for birds and other insects. Willows come in second with 456 species. Ginkgo, on the other hand, which is not native, supports three species, and zelkova, an exotic plant used to replace elm trees that died from disease, supports none. So the shelves are nearly bare for bugs and birds.

    Native trees are not only grocery stores, but insect pharmacies as well. Trees and other plants have beneficial chemicals essential to the health of bugs. Some monarchs, when afflicted with parasites, seek out more toxic types of milkweed because they kill the parasites. Bees use medicinal resins from aspen and willow trees that are antifungal, antimicrobial and antiviral, to line their nests and to fight infection and diseases. “Bees scrape off the resins from the leaves, which is kind of awesome, stick them on their back legs and take them home,” said Dr. Spivak.

    Besides pesticides and lack of habitat, the other big problem bees face is disease. But these problems are not separate. “Say you have a bee with viruses,” and they are run-down, Dr. Spivak said. “And they are in a food desert and have to fly a long distance, and when you find food it has complicated neurotoxins and the immune system just goes ‘uh-uh.’ Or they become disoriented and can’t find their way home. It’s too many stressors all at once.”

    There are numerous organizations and individuals dedicated to rebuilding native plant communities one sterile lawn and farm field at a time. Dr. Tallamy, a longtime evangelizer for native plants, and the author of one of the movement’s manuals, “Bringing Nature Home,” says it’s a cause everyone with a garden or yard can serve. And he says support for it needs to develop quickly to slow down the worsening crisis in biodiversity.

    When the Florida Department of Transportation last year mowed down roadside wildflowers where monarch butterflies fed on their epic migratory journey, “there was a huge outcry,” said Eleanor Dietrich, a wildflower activist in Florida. So much so, transportation officials created a new policy that left critical insect habitat un-mowed.

    That means reversing the hegemony of chemically green lawns. “If you’ve got just lawn grass, you’ve got nothing,” said Mace Vaughan of the Xerces Society, a leading organization in insect conservation. “But as soon as you create a front yard wildflower meadow you go from an occasional honeybee to a lawn that might be full of 20 or 30 species of bees and butterflies and monarchs.”

    First and foremost, said Dr. Tallamy, a home for bugs is a matter of food security. “If the bees were to truly disappear, we would lose 80 percent of the plants,” he said. “That is not an option. That’s a huge problem for mankind.”

           <nyt_author_id>

    Jim Robbins is a frequent contributor to The New York Times and the author of “The Man Who Planted Trees.”

    <nyt_correction_bottom>

    <nyt_update_bottom>

    A version of this news analysis appears in print on November 24, 2013, on page SR9 of the New York edition with the headline: The Year The Monarch Didn’t Appear.

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