In 2003, i purchase my first money pit, a.k.a my home. I made it clear to my realtor that the house was secondary to the yard. It had your normal cookie cutter landscape. You know the kind with the circle and square shaped plants. The only plant left aone was a lovely white birch, which was a great selling point for me. I know right then and there I could plant anything I wanted. Being the offspring of Connor Shaw my first move was to bring nature back to earth.
When I first started as the lead propagator at Possibility Place Nursery, I learned one lesson very quickly: produce large amounts of milkweed. There are great reasons behind this, both economic and environmental. For decades, Monarch populations have been on a major decline, and educated native plant enthusiasts want to help by planting milkweed.
One of my favorite trees in the winter is Yellow Birch (Betula alleghaniensis). The bark is not white like white birch or yellow like the name would suggest, but cherry like that exfoliates with copper and gray with white lentils. The bark becomes brown and plated as it get older.
Spring is but a fridge date on the calender, but it is coming and so are the birds. All over Illinois the landscape is changing with homes, roads removed wind rows and general toppling of habitat and food sources for our welcomed feathery trespassers. Now for those of us that are a bit lucky and have habitat existing in our yards a simple addition of key species and water will do the job, but those that have to start from scratch are in a tricky spot: “Where do I begin???”