Discourage Canada Geese with Native Landscaping

canada geeseEach autumn, we see the return of migrating Canada Geese. They are a wildlife success story, rebounding from near extinction. However, their abundance is now a common nuisance in many communities. Excessive Canada Geese droppings reduce water quality in ponds and lakes as well as contaminate golf courses, lawns and walkways. Three geese excrete as much feces as one human. Territorial animals, people can be attacked and chased by the large birds. Read More…

Late Season Pollinator Partners

bees and syrphid fly on sym_nov
Bees and Syrphid Fly on New England Aster

With autumn’s arrival, Aster and Goldenrod have taken the stage to not only dazzle with pretty flowers, but also offer rich nectar sources for pollinators. These staples of gardens and natural areas are an important late-season stop for bees, butterflies, moths, wasps, and more. You may have noticed the bright golden flowers of Goldenrods in fields and roadsides. Asters’ small daisy-like blooms come in white, blue, lavender, purple and sometimes pink. They pair beautifully together and with the rich fall color of native grasses. Read More…

Featured Project: Village of Montgomery

PhotoDump-0825-2010 435The Village of Montgomery boasts many beautiful naturalized stormwater basins. We at Pizzo & Associates, Ltd. are proud to be an integral part of their continued success! We have used invasive plant management, aquatic weed management and prescribed fire to create basins that are brimming with color and life. When needed, we have supplemented areas with native plugs and seed.  Read More…

Winter Clearing for Beautiful Results

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Is winter clearing of invasive woody species part of your stewardship plan? In Illinois, our forests should be open and you should be able to see through the tree trunks. Our prairies should be a sea of flowers and grasses. Our wetlands should be a mosaic of sedges, aquatic plants, and wildflowers. Does your natural area look like that? Our schedule is filling up with late fall and winter brush removal work. If you have an overgrown area, call us! We want to help you bring it back to beauty. Read More…

Weeds Not Wildflowers: Late Summer Edition

Amb_triInvasives are everywhere! This is a selection of what’s blooming now or is about to flower that may resemble wildflowers, but should be controlled in natural areas.

 

Common and Giant Ragweed (Ambrosia artemisiifolia and A. trifida)

Common Ragweed is a short annual at around three feet with ferny foliage and a greenish yellow flower spike. Each plant produces 3,500 seeds per year. Giant Ragweed can range from three feet up to 10 feet tall! Its large mid-green leaves are lobed in patterns of three or five. Firm flower spikes are yellowish green and form at the top of the plant for maximum wind dispersal. Each plant can produce up to 10,000 seeds. Ragweed is the bane of allergy sufferers in late summer and early fall with its copious pollen release. Read More…

Featured Project: Preserving a Piece of Michigan’s Natural History

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Ancient Beech

For the past seven years, we at Pizzo & Associates, Ltd. have been proud to steward a special piece of land along the Galien River in Three Oaks, Michigan. The homeowners purchased approximately 30 acres as a vacation property and built a home, pool, and pool house for family getaways. They chose the site for its proximity to the Chicago metro area and the beautiful site on the river. Read More…

Weeds Not Wildflowers: Summer Edition

Summer - 20 (2009). Conium maculatum. "Conium maculatum"
Poison Hemlock

The battle against invasive weeds never ends. This is a selection of what’s blooming now that may resemble wildflowers, but should be controlled in natural areas.

Poison Hemlock (Conium maculatum)

Poison Hemlock, a biennial, is blooming with clusters of flat white flowers atop tall purple-blotched stems. A member of the parsley family, it has lacy compound leaves. A single plant may form upwards of 38,000 seeds. This plant is poisonous if ingested and was the hemlock used to poison Socrates. Read More…

Fantastic Native Ferns

Northern Maidenhair Fern
Northern Maidenhair Fern

One of the loveliest woodland plants is the fern. We have almost 20 species native to Illinois and we’re very excited to offer these this spring. Ferns add a particular grace to shade gardens or woodland areas and blend well with wildflowers and sedges. Our ferns are still growing, but will be ready in a few weeks for pick up or delivery.

Northern Maidenhair Fern (Adiantum pedatum)

One of the loveliest of the native ferns, Northern Maidenhair Fern can reach up to two feet high and wide. Its wiry black stems allow the foliage to almost float, providing a delicate texture for the shade. This fern prefers moist, rich soils and is deer resistant. Read More…

Nectar Plants for Fall Pollinators

Swamp Milkweed
Swamp Milkweed

A recent study has demonstrated that late-season nectar plants are key to migrating butterflies and pollinators. You can enjoy blossoms through October by adding some of these beauties to your yard or natural area. Tough, tolerant, and lovely, try one for a burst of late summer and autumn flowers.

 

Swamp Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata)

A terrific rain garden plant, Swamp Milkweed prefers full sun sites that have wet to average soils. Reaching about two to four feet high, it blooms beginning in July and August with rosy pink clusters of upright fragrant flowers. Forming colonies when conditions are right, it is a host plant for Monarch butterflies. Other pollinators find it attractive, including the occasional Ruby-throated Hummingbird.  Read More…

Purple Prairie Favorites

Agastache scrophulariaefoliarevPurple, the color of royalty, graces our prairies throughout the season. There are many purple-flowering plants native to the Chicago area that can add richness to your landscape or natural area. We’ve chosen to highlight a mix of the common and unusual for your sunny spot. All of these species attract and support pollinators.

Agastache scrophulariifolia or Purple Giant Hyssop

Purple Giant Hyssop is a large clumping perennial in the mint family with square stems and pale lavender flower spikes from July until fall. Reaching about six feet high, this hyssop prefers prairie and savanna situations with moist soils, although it will readily adapt to average and dry areas. Its long-blooming flowers are extremely popular with bees and butterflies. Read More…