Native plants are good for the garden
and good for the environment.
Easy Care– Native plants take care of themselves.
Adaptability– Native plants are adapted to local conditions – dry, wet, shady, or clay.
Three-season Bloom– Native plants bloom earlier in the spring and later in the fall than most cultivated plants.
Animal Magnetism– Natives produce bloom, berries and seeds that are enjoyed by birds and wildlife.
Preservation– Natives support endangered butterfly, insect and plant populations.
Conservation– Natives use less water, conserving precious resources and eliminating the need for chemicals.
Beauty– Native plants make the Fox Valley and Illinois communities unique – something we all can be proud of.
Bring Nature Home with You
Natural Garden has been growing native plants since 1979. These plants were propagated
from seed collected within a 90 mile radius of St. Charles. Now our primary seed
source is from well-established stock beds. Our secondary source is a group of
reliable suppliers who have either gathered seed from their own plantings, or,
with permission, from restorations or wild populations. We offer over 250 species
of natives, including the Chicago area’s largest selection of sedges, ornamental
grasses and prairie forbs (perennial flowers).
seed is hand harvested and cleaned,
resulting in few, if any, weed seeds. We choose hand harvesting over mechanical
methods not just to avoid weed seeds, but also because a native plant's seeds
ripen at different times. By hand collecting, we harvest only the seed that is
ready and ripe, assuring the best germination. Sometimes, the collection period
of just one species can extend over several weeks. In contrast, mechanical devices
used to collect seeds, like combines, harvest entire fields of prairie plants
at one specific time. It may be more cost-effective and less time-consuming, but
many of the seeds will not be ripe.
Hand-harvesting insures that almost all the seed is properly ripened, and, therefore,
more likely to be viable. Unlike seed from cultivars and agricultural crops, which
is bred for uniformity and high, rapid rates of germination, wild seed represents
a diverse genetic composition with variable rates of germination. Consequently,
we cannot guarantee viability even though the seed is harvested and stored in
a manner that encourages the best possible viability for each species.