1. Liveliest colors in fall blooming aster, and pollinators love them all!

    September 25, 2017 by MAX

    New England Aster (Symphyotrichum novae-angliae) is one of the Midwestern natives and late blooming. Showy purple blooms w an orange eye. Deer resistant too! Grows to 3 or 4 ft, good for background , rear of sun beds.

    Also very drought resistant. Bees love them, as do monarchs which seek out all aster for late season food source.

    native species, natural landscapes by Ed Max, maxlandscape.com

    Late blooming native perennial, hardy, offers some of the best color in the late gardens.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Contact us soon for advice on late season colors, designs, and pollinator friendly habitats!

     

     

    native aster, woods aster of Wheaton landscapes

     

    Contact us

     


  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. Buttonbush (a native shrub for wet areas) Oakbrook landscape and wetland seen:

    February 26, 2017 by MAX

    And (as seen here), a butterfly magnet. Cool bloom in summer, drab yellow in fall. Masses in sunnier wets and you’re on to something interesting and beneficial to the local pollinators . Landscape with natives, as seen in this Oak Brook landscape  and wetland area.

    Bee gardens, native plantings by Ed Max, arborist and naturalist.

    In this Oakbrook landscape project we added wetland tolerant and native species, plus more traditional species- all of which help out the local butterfly and insect populations. Call for a native or Bee garden today!

     

    Contact us soon for a design, or consultation and list of native species for your gardens!

     


  4. An early spring perhaps? Seen here in a Wheaton Il shade garden in bloom, in the snow.

    March 5, 2016 by MAX

    A sight for sore eyes: this is one of many witch-hazels in our collections here. This winter blooming shrub adds serious color to an early winter garden! Hammemalis ‘Jelena’ with its fiery and fragrant bloom- seems out of place in the snow!

    Landscape design and landscape care in West Chicago. and Wheaton Il, Ed Max is a landscape designer and naturalist

    Winter colors in the garden. Seen here in a woodland landscape in West Chicago, Winfield area. Extend landscape colors and interests by diversifying shrub content. The bees too appreciate it!

     

    Excellent fall colors are another reason to plant the beautiful witch-hazels (Hammemalis sp.), easy to care for too, and tolerate (prefer) some shade and evenly moist, rich soils.

    Glen Ellyn landscape designs  by  Ed Max and maxlandsscape.com

    Seen in this Glen Ellyn shade landscape: a beautiful late winter- blooming shrub, bright yellow flower, excellent for the shadier gardens! Designs by Glen Ellyn landscaper Ed Max.

     


  5. 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.

     

     

     


  6. Fire in the natural landscape: essential

    April 16, 2015 by MAX
    native lanndscapes and management by Ed max, maxlandscape.com

    An incredible remnant patch of virgin prairie, smack dab in the middle of an otherwise drab and industrialized area next to a very old pioneer cemetery.

     

    Fire, herbicide and labor are the only things we have to save gems filled with a rare habitat such as this virgin patch of prairie. Without intervention, this prairie would be overrun with invasive species, thus shading out the incredible array of plant species that can be found in St. Stephens Prairie, near the cemetery. Not often do we find a patch of undisturbed land from the 1800’s and perhaps long before that!

     

     


  7. and …..more on those nasty invasives …..

    January 27, 2015 by MAX
    native landscapes by max's greener places, winfield, il, maxlandscape.com, landscaper in west chicago

    Snowfall on the unfrozen river in January. Again, invasive buckthorn can be clearly seen along the shoreline-(the low heavily flocked shrubs)  plus super invasive Reed Canary grass dominating the shoreline, with floodplain tree species rising above.  Off Geneva Rd, the west branch of the DuPage River.

    From Wiki info:

    Rhamnus cathartica is a deciduous shrub or small tree growing up to 10 m tall, with grey-brown bark and spiny branches. The leaves are elliptic to oval, 2.5–9 cm long and 1.2–3.5 cm broad; they are green, turning yellow in autumn, and are arranged somewhat variably in opposite to subopposite pairs or alternately. The flowers are yellowish-green, with four petals; they are dioecious and insect pollinated. The fruit is a globose black drupe 6–10 mm diameter containing two to four seeds; it is mildly poisonous for people, but readily eaten by birds, which disperse the seeds in their droppings.
    The species was originally named by Linnaeus as Rhamnus catharticus.

    The seeds and leaves are considered toxic to humans and animals, causing stomach cramps and laxative effects thought to serve a function in seed dispersal. The chemical compounds responsible for this laxative effect are anthraquinone[9] and emodin cathartica as the genus name Rhamnus is of feminine gender.

    Rhamnus cathartica is shade-tolerant, moderately fast-growing and short-lived. It is a food plant of the Brimstone butterfly. The sulphur-yellow males are indicative of the plant’s presence.

    Allelopathy-
    Secondary compounds, particularly emodin, have been found in fruit, leaves, and bark of the plant which may protect the plant from insects, herbivores, and pathogens.[12] Emodin present in R. cathartica fruit may serve purposes of prevention of early consumption, as it is found most in unripe fruits, which allows seeds to reach maturity before being dispersed. Birds and mice significantly avoid eating unripe fruits, and if forced to ingest emodin or unripe fruit, the animals regurgitate the meal or produce loose, watery stools.
    Allelopathic effects of exudates from R. cathartica leaf litter, roots, bark, leaves, and fruit may reduce germination of other plant species in the soil. Soils in buckthorn dominated areas are higher in nitrogen and carbon than normal soils, which speed up decomposition rates of leaf litter.This can result in bare patches of soil being formed and R. cathartica performs well in such disturbed habitats, so this may be adaptive for the setting of its seed.

    The species is naturalised and invasive in parts of North America.[3][14][12] R. cathartica has a competitive advantage compared to native trees and shrubs in North America because it leafs out before native species.[15] The early emergence of their leaves in the spring and can shade out the growth of native plants. 27-35% of the annual carbon gain in R. cathartica comes from photosynthesis occurring before the leaves of other plants emerge. [9] Soil in woodlands dominated by R. cathartica was higher in nitrogen, pH, and water content than soil in woodlands relatively free of R. cathartica,[16][17] probably because R. cathartica has high levels of nitrogen in its leaves and these leaves rapidly decompose.
    R. cathartica is also associated with invasive European earthworms (Lumbricus sp.) in the northern Midwest of North America.[18] Removing R. cathartica led to a decrease of invasive earthworm biomass of around 50%.[19]

    Control methods[edit]
    It is difficult to control because it sprouts vigorously and repeatedly from the root collar following cutting, girdling, or burning.[21] Herbicide application to newly cut stumps is a popular and effective control method. However, seeds stay viable in the soil for several years before sprouting, so repeated treatments and long-term monitoring of infested areas is required.[22] Garlon and Tordon, as well as their derivatives, have been found to be effective chemical means. Roundup can be used but is less reliable. [9] An application of these chemicals in early winter reduces the risk of negatively impacting non-target species, as most have gone dormant by this time. It is also easier to spot infestations at this time of the year, as its leaves stay out an average of 58 days longer than native plants.[9]
    Mechanical control methods such as pulling and chopping of plants are more environmentally friendly, but also very time consuming. Plants with stems less than half an inch in diameter or less than a meter tall can easily be pulled, but pulling risks disturbing the roots of adjacent, native plants and harming them as well.[22] Propane-weed torches may also be used to kill seedlings and they will generally not re-sprout if burned in spring or early summer.[9]

     

     

     

     

     


  8. Invasive Buckthorn; it may look nice cloaked in snow but….

    January 25, 2015 by MAX
    maxlandscape.com, invasive species

    Buckthorn (nasty invasive) shrouded nicely but choking the light and the life out of our woodlands and open spaces.

     

     

     

     

     


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

    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.

     

     


  10. Scarlet Indian Paintbrush (Castilleja coc.)

    October 8, 2014 by MAX
    Native plants, landscape species, natural landscapes of beaver island, ed max, naturalist

    A semi-parasitic plant, uncommon, with fiery foliage (not blooms) in late summer