Other than our plant sale, a fundraiser for us, we refer people to these landscapers and nurseries listed on this page.
Coming! Fall Tree and Shrub Sale 2019
We will be working with Green Community Connections again this fall to host a fall tree and shrub sale. If you don’t want a garden, you can always plant native shrubs and trees for a big punch of ecological power.
Why plant shrubs and trees?
If you were at our 2015 conference and have read Doug Tallamy’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:
Tallamy’s ecological heavyweights:
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/
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.
Red Stem Native Landscapes: Using only native plants in beautiful designs.
Art and Linda’s Wildflowers: One of the original native plant landscapers and mentors to many landscapers in the area.
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.
Their mission is to create jobs and vocational training for individuals with developmental disabilities.
Empowering Gardens: Located in Forest Park; they carry a selection of native plants.
Good Earth: Located in River Forest, IL.
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. For retail, please call ahead and make an appointment to drop by their operations since they are mostly a wholesale grower.
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.
The Growing Place: Multiple locations
Lurvey Garden Center: They also have events weekly and have a large selection of natives.
*Ask that any plants you purchase have not been treated with any insecticides, particularly a neonicotinoid.
**Avoid cultivars if possible (Example: Asclepias tuberosa “Hello Yellow,” a cultivar of Asclepias tuberosa). Read this article from National Wildlife Federation: Nativars
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.