native plant RSS

butterfly plant, Milkweed, Monarch, Native grasses, native plant, Native Plants, native seed, native wildflowers, wildflowers -

When it comes to planting native seed, most people in Illinois and the Midwest think of spring and summer. This is when the seed of annual vegetables and flowers and grass is planted in gardens, landscape beds and lawns. Native plant seed, however, can be, and in most cases should be, planted in late fall through late winter, a technique called “frost seeding.” Planting at this time of year is typically the best of the year to plant native seed as it mimics and takes advantage of a natural process. If you missed this fall/winter window and you are seeding...

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birding, native plant, Native Plants, native urban, nature, perennials, Urban birding, urban native garden, wildflowers, Wildlife -

Nature is resiliant, we just need to cultivate the seeds and it will spring back. Just as we have increased protections for air, water, and habitat we have seen wildlife rebound native landscaping is beginning to make a real positive impact. In the photo is the state endangered black crowned night heron living it up in downtown Chicago. These were increasingly rare, but we protected and restored habitat and those conservation seeds are showing great results. The same goes with native plants restoring our planet. Putting in those few plants in your landscape works, just watch nature leap to life...

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Native bees, Native grasses, native plant, Native Plants, urban native garden -

Some evidence is showing the abundance of grasses and sedges is super important for native bee conservation! Why? They have fine roots and they begin to build up the organic matter back to pre-settlement levels. This organic matter is necessary for the ground to absorb and hold water. What does that have to do with native bees? The water regulates the soil temperature. Many native bees are ground nesting and they need that heavy organic matter to nest in and a well regulated soil temperature to thrive. We lost this organic matter through oxidation over centuries of tilling agricultural practices....

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Invasive, Invasive Weeds, native plant, Native Plants, perennial, perennials, Weeds, wildflower, wildflowers -

Wildflowers Ain't What They Used To Be! Well, why not? Before European settlement, all wildflowers were native wildflowers (or at least 99%).  When Europeans settled they brought along their indigenous plants with them because you love what you know.  Historically they used European wildflowers to develop their cuisine and hone their medicine skills.  This makes sense because it takes a lot of trial and error, that at best leads to stomach discomfort and at worst death, to figure out what you can eat for sustenance and what works to cure certain ailments.  All of this institutional knowledge is largely out the window when colonizing the new...

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chicago, green, illinois, Invasive, Invasive Weeds, native plant, Native Plants, Native Shrub, Native Tree, perennial, perennials, Tree, Weeds -

I have recently seen several articles touting trees such as Bradford Pear and European black alder as easy to grow options for your yard.  They are correct. What?????? Well they do grow well, really well, too well!!!! These species are non-native and increasingly invasive in Illinois and around the great lakes region.  These are not excellent options for your yard! They are not even mediocre options, they are awful as they are on the cusp of being in increasingly crowded invasive species top ten list.  Several others that are up there in the top ten woody invasive list in northern...

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