1. 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.


  2. 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.

     

     

     

     


  3. Bloodroot: a native of fleeting beauty

    April 10, 2015 by MAX

     

     

     

    native plants, in a woodland landscape of West Chicago Il, maxlandscape.com,  Ed Max arborist, landscape design in Wheaton, Il

    A native wildflower – Bloodroot ( Sanguineria), has a bright daisy like bloom, very short bloom period, but well worth the effort to establish.

     

     

    landscape design near West Chicago and Wheaton il,

    Just emerging native bloodroot, a wonderful addition to the early Shade garden

    Native wildflowers – also call ‘Spring Ephemerals, inhabit our better quality woodlands, especially oak woodlands, where these fleeting blooms have evolved under the boughs of oaks since the last of the glaciers receded some 10,000 years ago. Their moji is to sprout, bloom, germinate, collect energy for their reserves, and then decline to dormancy: all before the elaves fully emerge above! Whew! Hence the reason to get out into your local oak grove to witness their fleeting beauty!

     


  4. Rare orchids of the prairies

    September 9, 2014 by MAX
    Native plants, landscaping, west chicago il, ed max, arborist

    White Ladies Slipper Orchid: quite rare and quite fleeting was my moment with these incredible beauties!


  5. The peril of our beloved Monarch

    November 30, 2013 by MAX

    PLANT, PRESERVE AND ADVOCATE FOR THE MILKWEED FAMILY (Aesculus),

    WHY?

     

    This plant family is the the only lifeline for the endangered Monarch butterfly. On it’s migration northward from the depleted forests where it winters to the wind-swept prairies of the Southwest, to the monoculture cornfields of the Midwest; the monarch is not doing well. And then there it the MONSANTO monster called ‘BT’ ready corn. This genetically altered corn hybrid creates pollen that, once adrift, kills all larvae, including that of the monarch butterfly. So, there you have it. In a decade or two, you may only see images of monarchs on a site like this. Let’s hope not.

    milkweed, (aesculus syriaca

    Fragrant, draws all osrts of unusual bugs, and of course-the Monarchs, which will lay eggs on this plant

    They may rebound.  But it is not looking so swell. From record populations (in Mexico during winter) in the hundreds of millions  documented for a millennia, to a paltry few million or less this year is alarming, as seen (or not) in the forests on one small but important area near central Mexico. There too the problems for this fragile creature are present: illegal logging.  Though slowed and perhaps even stopped, the damage has been done. It seems that the lack of dense forest cover in the mountains where they used to ‘ drape the trees’, has thus allowed colder temperature to penetrate- and a few winters have had devastating results.

    natives, miklkweed, aesculus, maxlandscape.com

    Monarch larvae on a milkweed plant seen in one the natural areas near Chicago .