1. 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.

     

     


  2. 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!

  3. 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!

     


  4. Japanese maples extend colors into late fall here in the West Chicago landscapes of Ed Max

    December 5, 2016 by MAX
    West Chicago landdscaping, native woodlands, landscaping with trees and shrubs. Landscapes by Edward Max of West Chicago

    Here on our wooded landscape, nothing comes close in intensity than autumnal foliage change of the Japanese maples. Providing that continuation of color in the landscapes here in West Chicago & Winfield region, and in your own landscapes. The small maple (Acer ) group are easy to grow, prefer deep rich soils and some protection from hot mid-day suns.

     

     


  5. Big Roo (and his flock of hens) in the garden (Chickens in West Chicago, Il.)

    December 26, 2015 by MAX

     

     

    permaculture and edible landscapes by Ed Max

    Chickens in the yard, part of the cycle of Permaculture : a system of natural and mostly organic gardening, of which, chickens can play a vital roll in the whole cycle.


  6. Great Fritillaries of the woodland gardens, mingling with native bluebells , A Downers Grove shade garden teeming with shade plants, native species, and bulbs , designed by Ed Max, Max’s Greener Places

    December 23, 2015 by MAX
    spring bulbs in the woodland gardens, and along the landscpae paths

    Great Fritillaries are not a common spring bulb for the perennial gardens and are rarely seen in our area. (CLICK on PIC)
    Plant in fall, in deep loamy soils, full or part sun, and that’s it!
    They stand high above the surrounding native bluebells seen here, and the bees love them!
    Seen here in Max’s woodland gardens in West Chicago.


  7. 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!


  8. 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!!!!

     

     


  9. 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

    December 21, 2015 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.

     

     

     

     


  10. Designer Ed Max’s landscapes in fall, near West Chicago Il.

    December 7, 2015 by MAX
    Edward Max, landscape designer, landscapers of Wheaton and Winfield, using Drought tolerant species for a sun bed , landscape in West Chicago, Winfield, Wheaton Il area,

    Xeriscapes designed by Landscape designer Ed Max of West Chicago Il, and maxlandscape.com: Cactus, thyme, plus dropseeds( Sporobolus)-all planted in this harsh sunny spot and hold up well. Seen in this West Chicago, Il garden in mid season.