Weeds Not Wildflowers

Garlic Mustard
Garlic Mustard

Have you seen these weeds? These aggressive invaders are blooming along roadsides, in forest preserves, and in your own backyard. They are not native wildflowers and can smother our desirable species. Don’t let them get a toehold on your property. We can help! Share this so we can spread the word about invasive species.   Read More…

Burn Season: Fall 2016

kishwaukeearcher4In the midst of the growing season, you might not think of autumn and the timing of controlled burns. However, now is the perfect time to plan for your fall controlled burn project. With permitting taking up to 90 days, it’s a good idea to get a jump on the process.

Why a controlled burn?

  • Control weedy tree and shrub saplings, some invasive plants, and clean up the site for ease of control later in the season.
  • Stimulate the growth of native plants by getting sunlight to the soil, thus encouraging greater diversity of plants, insects, and animals.
  • Kills ticks.

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Featured Project: “Our Piece of the Planet”

Wild Blue Phlox, Wild Geranium, Great White Trillium
Wild Blue Phlox, Wild Geranium, Great White Trillium

In 2015 a family approached us about their newly purchased vacation property in Michigan. They had acquired 35 acres of old fields and remnant forest. They planned to build a home as well as enjoy the natural areas. They hired Pizzo & Associates, Ltd. to site the buildings and the driveway as well as craft an ecological restoration plan.  Read More…

What’s Happening Now? Spring Has Arrived to Natural Areas

trillium_woods
Trillium recurvatum

This year, spring has arrived early and Mother Nature is bursting with color and sound. You’ll see our crews out planting seed and spot-treating early season weeds like garlic mustard, thistle, and reed canary grass. We’ve packed up the burn gear as tender plants are emerging and we’ll start planting plugs beginning in mid-May. It’s a good time to ask us about drawing up plans for later in the year or 2017. Meanwhile, get outside and enjoy this beautiful season. Here’s what’s happening in our natural areas.  Read More…

Planting for Pollinators

07-17-07 016The monarch butterflies are making their way north and we’ve already spotted Red Admirals, Commas, Mourning Cloaks, and lots of moths, bees, flies, and wasps. The prairie is buzzing! If you’re interested in attracting beautiful butterflies and important beneficial insects, now is the time to make plans and order plants.

Planting for pollinators means that you’ll need plants for caterpillars and larvae as well as for adults. To welcome insects there are a few things to consider. Read More…

Solutions for Algae Control

HL- 07 16 08 035

Algae are a problem on many ponds in our area. It is caused by excessive nutrients, specifically nitrogen and phosphorous, in the water. These are commonly found in fertilizers used on lawns and agricultural crops. When it rains, they run off of lawns and fields and into the stormwater management system, ending up in your ponds.

How do you fix an algae problem? At The Pizzo Group, we take a multi-tiered approach. If you have an area that collects water in rain events, a bioswale or rain garden could be the ideal solution. Creating a beautiful perennial garden of wildflowers treats the stormwater before it enters the pond. Native plants adapted to these conditions will absorb excess water and damaging nutrients, plus add flowers and habitat for pollinators.

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Contract Growing: Plan for Plants

HHcorlanAt Pizzo Native Plant Nursery LLC, one of the ways we can deliver top quality plants when you need them is through contract grows. Contract grows are ideal for bigger orders and large installation projects. We’ll ship or deliver, too!

Contract growing allows you to specify exactly to your installation needs. We are happy to grow anywhere from a 72-cell tray up to 2-quarts and #1 containers. If you need to meet project specifications or need to secure large quantities to be ready at a particular time, it’s worth investigating a contract grow. We can also grow from your seed or seed collected from a particular county of origin. More benefits include: Read More…

Milkweeds for Monarchs

Monarch on butterflyweed
Monarch on butterflyweed

Are you ready to welcome butterflies? Monarch populations are doing a bit better, but they could still use a boost. Try planting milkweed this year and be rewarded with monarchs and more. Their showy flower clusters also attract moths, skippers, bees, and beneficial wasps. Set your landscape to buzzing with milkweed! Read More…

Spring Is for Seeding

seedingSpring can be a good time to sow native seed for prairies, savannas, and woodlands. If you’re looking for a cost-effective solution to establishing native landscaping or natural areas, installing seed is an option. Mild spring temperatures, abundant rainfall, and longer days mean that plants can germinate well. Read More…

Problems – Solved!

Nantucket CoveHow do your natural areas look this spring? Are they meeting your goals? We at The Pizzo Group manage hundreds of natural spaces and we can solve your problems.

  • Beauty – We execute sound practices that produce beautiful and functional natural areas and sustainable landscapes. We are the most-awarded contractor in the Midwest because our projects excel in performance.
  • Prescribed Fire (Controlled Burn) – We are the industry expert at safe and effective prescribed fire. This is one of the tools in our toolbox that creates beautiful natural spaces.
  • Erosion – Our thorough planning and experienced installation and management solutions will resolve your erosion problems.
  • Water Quality – A healthy, native plant community will solve water quality issues.
  • Pollinators and Butterflies – Everything we do for our clients creates pollinator and butterfly habitat.

 

Call 815-495-2300 or email us at info@pizzo.info to get your customized solution today.

Assessing a Natural Area

Monitoring flora
Monitoring flora

Successful ecological restoration begins with properly assessing a site. What kind of plants and animals are there? What is the topography? Is there water and how does it move? Walking a site and being immersed in it allows ecologists, landscape architects, and planners to get to know its special characteristics and how to maximize resources to restore its natural beauty. Sometimes, we find threatened and endangered species or particularly valuable remnant ecosystems. Read More…

Green Infrastructure: Ensuring Success with Native Plants

A successful native bioswale
A successful native bioswale

An increasingly important approach to water quality improvement, green infrastructure projects such as rain gardens, bioswales, and retention basins, are successful when they function properly and are aesthetically pleasing. Let our expert landscape architects and ecologists at ecology + vision, llc help you enhance your project with curated plant lists, detailed specifications and measurable performance criteria. Together, we can create a beautiful, high functioning project that will last for years to come. Read More…