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...
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...
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...
I had the opportunity to prepare and plant a small native garden with my four-year-old daughter this Labor Day. It was the most fun that I had in a long time and I hope she had fun too. Hopefully not too much child labor on this day of days for the laborers of the US :-) Shed did play quite a bit and found a new pet, a roly poly bug. We first picked out some plants, I let her pick the flower color, obviously purple was the choice! We could have gone with Geranium maculatum (Wild Geranium) or Polemonium reptans (Jacob's Ladder) or multiple...
Question: I have a roof top deck with planters in Chicago. Do you have any native plants that will work in this urban environment? Answer: Laurie, yes I believe I have some plants that may work for you. Admittedly I have never installed natives in a roof top planter, but dry prairie species should do the trick. I have several plants in mind that may just work for you. The plants I am recommending are showier plants that are on the hardy end of the spectrum, need less water than most plants, are shorter stature that should work better...
- Asclepias incarnata (Swamp Milkweed)
- Asclepias tuberosa (Butterfly Milkweed)
- Asclepias verticillata (Whorled Milkweed)
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