1. A fall season like no other (except last fall?). So that’s TWO wet, cold, snowy fall seasons in a row- what is going on?

    November 25, 2019 by MAX

    Below is a copy of an older blog from a year ago- when we had several snow events, loads of wet days, and very cold temps. Sounds like a broken record-? Fast forward to this November: already have had 2 snow events (one on Halloween), with unreal cold in late October……4 above zero in the far western suburbs.

    Bitternut hickory (Carya) foliage, like so many other species-were still in leaf when the snows came, followed by single digit temps. Many trees and shrubs did not lose leaves, as they froze on the branches. Long term consequences of 2 years of freakish cold so early? TBD.

    With dramatically wetter weather throughout the Great lakes region (ie: record high levels on Lake Michigan), there are also those wild temperature swings (as in early cold spells, polar vortexes etc) and early snowstorms. Much seems to be due to unusual jet streams, and climate change. And as these crazy patterns continue, we see more changes (and damage) to our tree canopy and to the natural communities ( discordant insect vs bird migrations, continually wet soils etc). On the traditional landscape plant list – the damage from early 2019 record low temps (polar vortex) killed off many plant types we have come to love (and perhaps overplant) for decades: boxwood, ornamental Asian maples, Chinese dogwood, and the list goes on…..

    Conclusion: as the climate warms, we had come to accept the idea of planting species accustom to southern and warmer climes. No longer. Conjecture has it that the phenomenon known as the ‘polar vortex’ will continue in future winter months of the upper Midwest, thus knocking back, or killing off southern species. So what to do?

    Perhaps sticking to native species such as *oak, hickory and other hardy northern species- the damage may be lessened? Continuing to plant tender species (Acer palm., Cornus kousa, buxus sp. etc) may be an unwise long- term plan.

    * Plant oaks- help sequester carbon, cool and cleanse the air, and slow the heavier rain loads. Oaks also support more species than any other tree species. Contact us to discuss what species best suits your situation.

    Below- NWS info from 2018:

    PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
    NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE CHICAGO/ROMEOVILLE IL
    1332 PM CST SAT DEC 1 2018

    …A Look Back at the Climate for Meteorological Fall (September,
    October, November) 2018 for Chicago and Rockford…

    At Chicago, the average high temperature for the fall season was
    59.3 degrees, which is 2.5 degrees below the 1981 to 2010 average.
    The average low temperature was 44.8 degrees, which is 1.6 degrees
    above normal. The mean temperature for the season was 52.1 degrees,
    which is 0.4 degrees below normal.

    A total of 11.68 inches of precipitation was recorded during this
    past fall, which is 2.17 inches above normal. There was a total of
    12.7 inches of snow recorded at Chicago, which is 11.3 inches above
    normal.

    Records established or tied during the fall months:

    September: Record daily high temperature of 93 degrees on the 20th.

    October: Record daily precipitation of 1.56 inches on the 1st.

    November: Record daily precipitation of 1.20 inches on the 26th.

    At Rockford, the average high temperature was 58.1 degrees, which is
    3.8 degrees below normal. The average low temperature was 40.8
    degrees, which is 0.3 of a degree below normal. The mean temperature
    for the season was 49.4 degrees, which is 2.1 degrees below normal.

    A total of 13.02 inches of precipitation was recorded during this
    past fall, which was 4.42 inches above normal. In addition, a total
    of 15.8 inches of snow was recorded, which is 14 Inches above normal.

    Records established or tied during the fall months:

    September: None.

    October: Record daily precipitation of 1.65 inches on the 1st.
    Record daily low temperature of 22 degrees tied on the 22nd.
    Record daily precipitation of 1.36 inches on the 30th.

    November: Record daily snowfall of 1.8 inches on the 9th.
    Record daily snowfall of 2.1 inches on the 17th.
    Record daily snowfall of 11.7 inches on the 25th.

    Record Snowfall of 15.8 inches for the fall season.

    (Thanks to the NWS)


  2. Hardy Cactus in the Chicagoland landscape. One of designer and naturalist Ed Max’s favorite native perennials; as seen in this Oak Park Il prairie landscape

    December 21, 2015 by MAX

    Opuntia (Prickly Pear cactus) is a native of sandier habitats within the Chicagoland Wilderness. Adding them into your drier, sunnier beds will add a blast of lemon yellow blooms in late spring, followed by the edible fruit in late summer. Super hardy, just averse to wet conditions, so placement is important.

    landscape with natives , Ed Max is an arborist, naturalist and landscape designer from Wheaton, and Naperville Il.

    Native, spiny, and edible cactus in the landscapes of West Chicago, and St. Charles. Landscape designer Ed Max uses this unusual native often. Easy to care for- just be sure its in a well drained and sunny location! This perennial can be  part of your drier locations too with little fuss.

    Bloom time: late spring , early summer. Easy to care for, just a bit spiny!

     

     


  3. Paver walkways and landing, as part of an new Oak Park landscape

    April 16, 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.

     

    Though not completed as of yet, we will eventually add in a new back paver walkway, a new lawn oval, plus a landscaped perimeter utilizing shade tolerant species, and many natives. The ribbon of  chocolate colored clay paver is called ‘Copthorne’, very reminiscent of the old street paver. Picks up the colors of the house quite nicely!

     

     

     

     


  4. 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.


  5. It’s almost spring! Time to consider the landscapes

    March 2, 2015 by MAX

    It is time to get thinking about the landscapes. Time is upon us to get moving on that outdated garden, that uneven patio, and that eyesore of a front landscape. You know what I mean. Late winter is the time to get things lined up-so when the spring weather finally (?) hits , you will be prepared to move. Give a call or shoot off that email now!                   WILL SPRING EVER COME? This has been one of the top three coldest, snowiest Februaries on record-crazy!

    landscape company in Wheaton, Il, maxlandscape.com

    A sign of spring: the Winter aconite, which pops while the snow may still be present. Good for pollinators, given it’s early appearance. Though a non native, it will stay put in your woodland or perennial garden. Divide and move around while in bloom.

    Other early blooming plants for the garden: witch-hazels, forsythias, native wildflowers such as bloodroot, trillium, and violas, plus tulips, crocus, and hellebores.

    maxlandscape.com, west Chicago il and Winfield landscapes,

    maxlandscape.com, west Chicago il and Winfield landscapes,

     


  6. A Naperville cottage garden

    March 10, 2014 by MAX

    landscapers, naperville il, oak park il landscaping

    All mixed perennial patches need updating from time to time.

    A proper cottage garden begins with the setting: a charming home, a sun filled area, and a variety of plantings and bloom times. With all these ingredients- we have a chance to make something special!