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.

 


 
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 below 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:

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. (Business Member of West Cook Wild Ones)

Red Stem Native Landscapes: Using only native plants in beautiful designs. (Business Member of West Cook Wild Ones)

The Spirited Gardener: Consulting services in rain garden design incorporating pollinator plants. Mostly native plants used but will use all native plants upon request. (Business Member of West Cook Wild Ones)

Twig Landscape Design:   Uses majority of native plants in designs but will use only native plants when requested. Judicious use of cultivars if desired by customer. Encourages pollinator-friendly clean-up practices. (Business Member of West Cook Wild Ones)

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.

Living Habitats

Wyatt E Coyote Ecological Services:  Nature Preserve land manager, Forest Preserve steward, and a village Conservation Commissioner, Wyatt Widmer offers invasive species removal, ecological and botanical consultation, as well as ecological restoration and gardening for Chicagoland residents and businesses who want a healthy ecosystem. Email at [email protected],  or message on Facebook and Instagram @wyattecoyote
 

If you know of any landscapers we should recommend, please email us at [email protected]

Nurseries/Garden Centers:

Please let them know you learned about their business through our page.

Christy Webber Farm and Garden: an independent garden center in Chicago.  Their Native Plant section is entirely local-ecotype, straight-species and neonicotinoid-free native plants of the Chicago Region (mostly using material from Possibility Place and Natural Gardens Natives) and can be browsed in-person at the store or on our website here.  

Empowering Gardens: Located in Forest Park; they carry a selection of native plants.

Good Earth: Located in River Forest, IL.

The Growing Place: Multiple locations

Lurvey Garden Center: They have weekly events and have a large selection of natives.

Natives Haven in Harvard IL

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.

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 a 40 acre farm; plants are bought in flats.

Possibility Place: Possibility Place Nursery has been specializing in plants native to NE Illinois since 1983. They offer a wide selection of perennials, woody trees, and shrubs. You can buy via their online store or through in-house orders. For in-house retail, wholesale, or contract orders, they ask you contact their office to get started with a quote. 

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.

Shady Grove Wildflower Farm, Find them at the Evanston and Skokie Farmer’s Markets. 

Wasco Nursery and Garden Center: St Charles, IL

Send us an email if you know of any nurseries or garden centers selling native plants who aren’t listed here.

Important points to consider when shopping for native plants: 

  • Ask  that any plants you purchase have not been treated with any insecticides, particularly a neonicotinoid. Avoid adding any plant, native or otherwise, that has been treated with a neonicotinoid. These pesticides are harmful to insects, can spread through the soil where they will be absorbed by nearby plants. Read this article by Xerces Society: Understanding Neonicotinoids
  • Avoid nativars/cultivars if possible (Example: Asclepias tuberosa “Hello Yellow,” a cultivar of Asclepias tuberosa).  Read Wild Ones’ position: Nativars: Where Do They Fit In?  Read this article from National Wildlife Federation: Nativars

Online Sources:

Prairie Friends Located in the Chicago area

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.