Wild World Gardens believes in the beauty and benefits of native plants, and we encourage incorporating diverse native plant species into your landscape. Why?
- They enrich the soil, control erosion, and sequester carbon.
- They absorb and filter water with deep roots that remove pollutants before they enter waterways and soak up rain before it seeps into your building.
- They are more drought-resistant than non-native plants and conventional lawns.
- They require less maintenance once established—no mowing, no irrigation, no fertilizers, and no pesticides. This is not to say native plants are maintenance-free; they do require ample watering, weeding, and stewardship to establish them, but overall there are fewer inputs.
- They have evolved and survived on these lands for thousands of years, adapting natural defenses to local conditions such as nutrient-poor soil, harsh winters, disease, and insects.
- They support biodiversity and provide food and habitat for butterflies, birds, bees, insects, and other species who have evolved interdependent relationships with these plants over time and who are struggling as their ecosystems change dramatically.
- They provide visual interest across all seasons throughout the year.
- They are medicine for your body, tonic for your mind, and a salve for your spirit as you work to rebuild better connections to local landscapes.
Native Plant Resources and Inspiration
Where to buy:
Pollinator Prairie Patch
Intrinsic Perennial Gardens
Pizzo Native Plant Nursery
Native Roots and Canopies
Northwind Perennial Farm
Prairie Moon Nursery
Where to see:
City of Chicago:
Northerly Island Park
North Park Village Nature Center
Northeast Cook County:
Chicago Botanic Garden
Emily Oaks Nature Center
Northwest Cook County:
Crabtree Nature Center
South Cook County:
Southeast Cook County:
Sand Ridge Prairie Nature Preserve
Southwest Cook County:
Little Red Schoolhouse Nature Center Prairie
Bluff Spring Fen
Shoe Factory Road Prairie
Wolf Road Prairie
Bell Bowl Prairie