Where to Get Native Plants and Landscapers

Other than our plant sale, a fundraiser for us, we refer people to these landscapers and nurseries listed on this page.


Spring Native Plant Sale–Pre-ordering Open!

June 3, 2017 is pick-up date

You will be able to shop here: https://wild-ones-west-cook.myshopify.com/

We have some new plants this year depending upon availability.  

 


Why plant shrubs and trees?

If you were at our 2015 conference and have read Doug Tallmy’s books (www.bringingnaturehome.net), then you know that woody species support many more types of insects than do herbaceous plants (perennials). At our 2017 conference, both speakers Rick Darke and Heather Holm also recommend planting native shrubs and trees.  You do not need a prairie to help the environment.  You can read about it here: 2017 Conference Post.

Why plant something that supports insects?

The linchpin question!  Did you know most insects are beneficial or just benign for humans?  Depending on who you read, 96-99% of insects are ones we want around.  It’s the other small percentage that pose a problem, and with our current landscaping practices of planting non-native plants and destructive clean-up practices (which removes overwintering insects), and indiscriminate pesticide use, the insects that survive are the pesky if not dangerous ones.

Why plant native plants in general?
This article gives a concise summary of a few salient studies along with a reference section: http://beautifulnativeplants.blogspot.com/2016/05/the-science-behind-our-commitment-to.html

Dr Tallamy’s Top 10 List:
http://web.extension.illinois.edu/lmw/eb255/entry_6262/

Tallamy’s ecological heavyweights:
http://www.bringingnaturehome.net/what-to-plant.html

 
Linda's Tiger Swallowtail
 Photo by Linda Walker: Tiger Swallowtail (Tiger Swallowtails use a variety of trees as food plants for their caterpillars) on a Liatris

Native Plant Sources:

We are so fortunate in our region to have a variety of places that propagate native plants.  When purchasing native plants, it is best to but plants that are your local eco-type and have been sustainably and ethically sourced.  There are businesses that sell plants which have been dug from wild populations, and this is one way that some plant species become vulnerable to extinction.

One of the best sources will be West Cook Wild Ones members, who are willing to share divisions of plants or to share seeds.  We also have an annual Plant Sale in the spring.

If they don’t have plants available, or have the ones that you would like, we recommend the following nurseries/landscapers.  We are lucky to have garden centers in the area that carry native plants.  Also listed are landscapers who can help you with bringing nature home.  We recommend that when hiring you ask the landscaper if they practice a clean-up method/schedule that will allow insects to continue their life cycles (most insects are beneficial, and most of them are in diapause (hibernation) during the winter) in the spring.  Birds will rely upon the standing garden for the seeds and the insects during all seasons.  The organic matter from the standing leaves will feed the soil, which feeds the plants.  The organisms in the soil are important to ground foraging birds too.  Avoid annual and total mowing/burning/cutting down of your gardens.  Consult Xerces Society’s Guide for Managing Pollinator Habitat: http://www.xerces.org/pollinator-conservation-managing-habitat/

Landscapers:

Good-Natured Landscapes: Long term experience with native plants and masterful use in landscape design.  Won the Chicago Wilderness Conservation and Native Landscaping award 2014.

DigRightIn: a local landscaping company and partner in our Wildlife Corridor; uses sustainable landscaping practices (specializes in organic lawns) and when requested will use native plants.

Sustainable Garden Coach:   Laura will guide and assist you in creating a yard that brings nature home to you.

Red Stem Native Landscapes: Using only native plants in beautiful designs. 

Green Pedals Gardening:  Eco-friendly gardening services, maintaining and planting

Art and Linda’s Wildflowers: One of the original native plant landscapers and mentors to many landscapers in the area.

Nurseries/Garden Centers:

Linda’s Loves Natives: Linda Walker’s own nursery; she propagates from her own garden and proceeds are donated to youth services in Myanmar.

Natural Communities, Native Plants: in Batavia, IL they have free shipping for orders over $59.99 and always free local pick up; a variety of sizes available too.  They will also come to your green event and sell plants on site.

Seguin Gardens and Gifts:   Seguin Gardens & Gifts is a social enterprise of UCP Seguin of Greater Chicago.  They are beginning to expand their selection of native plants. 

Our mission is to create jobs and vocational training for individuals with developmental disabilities.

Possibility Place: a local nursery that specializes in woody plants but also has some native plants and grasses; they provide plants for many plant sales.

Natural Garden Natives supplies plants to retailers, and if the retailer doesn’t have the plant you are looking for, you can special order them, a little known fact for people who would like to purchase native plants.  The turnaround can be fairly short too.   Here is the link to search for retailers where you can get their plants.  Where to buy Natural Garden Natives

Pizzo Nursery: Plants grown on an 40 acre farm; plants are bought in flats.

Online Sources:

Prairie Moon Nursery: a wonderful online source of plants and knowledge

Praire Nursery:  another dependable online source with lots of beautiful plants

Natural Communities, Native Plants: description above; they also do online sales.