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…

Salt Tolerant Native Plants

b_amocan_1(2)Amorpha canescens

Winter in the Chicago area inevitably means salted roads and walkways. Fortunately, some of our native plants will happily tolerate salt and still be beautiful. We’ve chosen a list of plants we find able to not only absorb and clean polluted snowmelt and runoff, but are well-behaved in the landscape.

Amorpha canescens or Lead Plant

Lead plant gets its common name from its dusty grey green foliage that looks like oxidized lead. This short sub-shrub will surprise you with long lasting purple flower spikes covered in bright orange anthers. Plant it in the front of the border where you can reach out and touch the soft leaves. It does best in full sun to part shade and good drainage. Read More…

Raingardens: A Sustainable Solution

Picture7Raingardens can be a beautiful addition to your site and will attract beneficial pollinators while controlling storm water and run off. By choosing a wide range of native plants, you can enjoy flowers from spring into fall, stunning fall color and unique winter interest. You’ll also create habitat for butterflies, bees, birds, amphibians and more.

Some native plants are particularly suited to a raingarden environment where they may be inundated for periods of time and then experience drought. Deep roots hold soils in place and allow for greater drought tolerance. For a sunny raingarden, consider swamp milkweed (Asclepias incarnata), wild bergamont (Monarda fistulosa), swamp rose mallow (Hibiscus moscheutos), to name a few. For a shadier site, don’t forget the sedges! Their cascading foliage and handsome seed heads add dimension in a shade raingarden. Try palm sedge (Carex muskingumensis), awl-fruited sedge (Carex tribuloides) or brown fox sedge (Carex vulpinoidea). Read More…