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At North Shore Plant Club, we deliver plants every couple of weeks from April through October. Each order has a slightly different "cast" of nurseries, including some local favorites from whom we order nearly every time (so you'll almost always find over 1000 types of plants including all the standard stuff) in addition to a rotating cast of guest nurseries which offer other seasonally appropriate or unique plants. From week to week, we might have nurseries specializing in native plants, spring or fall annuals, groundcovers, trees, and more.
We save energy and money by only opening for a few days at a time. We figure out what plants are available, invite club members to choose (usually Thursday to Sunday) what they want, tally up the purchases, and make arrangements with the nurseries. The plants come the following week, we sort them out, get them to you, and we get the site going again for another round of plant goodness!
Order 2/8/24 - 2/25/24
Winter blahs give way to Springtime ahhhs. Plan ahead and order now for your summer containers, hanging baskets, select veggies, herbs and Proven Winners perennials.
Receive in May and early June.
Order 4/4/24 - 4/7/24
Pansies and cool season annuals are blooming and ready to go! Early spring is a great time to get large plants into the ground. Choosing trees and shrubs takes planning. The Tree Pre-Order happens weeks before delivery so you can be ready for your garden investment.
Receive by April 11, trees by April 25.
Order 5/2/24 - 5/5/24
Annuals and Perennials are here and ready for your garden! The gift of flowers is always a welcome treat! Order this week to receive in time for Mother’s Day.
Receive by May 10 .
Order 5/9/24 - 5/12/24
Thinking about changing your yard or adding a new garden? Spring is the perfect time to make changes by adding shrubs and perennials. Annuals are in full swing and ready to add color to your spaces.
Receive by May 17.
Order 5/16/24 - 5/19/24
Annuals and perennials that make great cut flowers are ready to add to your garden. Gardening is a popular activity for a long weekend. Order this week to receive in time for Memorial Day.
Receive by May 24.
Order 5/30/24 - 6/2/24
Succession of color builds interest and grabs attention for people and insects. More perennials are available, the last of the annuals and Native Plants are here. Remember Dads like to garden, too – gift certificates are always available!
Receive by June 7.
Order 6/13/24 - 6/16/24
Giving refuge to birds, forming a screen or adding a backdrop to your yard can be created with a row of hydrangeas, boxwoods, native shrubs, grasses or mixed perennial border.
Receive by June 20.
Order 7/4/24 - 7/7/24
Why plant Natives in your garden? Once established Natives require less water – saving money, time and our natural resource. Planting en masse of 5 plants or more benefits insects, birds and aesthetics of the garden.
Receive by July 11.
Order 7/18/24 - 7/21/24
Perennials, Native Plants and shrubs are here to help make your garden sing. Plants provide birds shelter, food and nesting materials. Having a garden and water source will attract birds to your yard.
Receive by July 25.
Order 8/1/24 - 8/4/24
From tall grasses that sway in the breeze to our favorite low growing tufts, grasses are becoming more popular in a variety of sizes and colors.
Receive by August 8.
Order 8/15/24 - 8/18/24
Find the colors you want for mums, cabbage, kale, ornamental peppers, and celosia in a variety of sizes. Prepare and plan for changing over fading summer annuals with lush fall season plants.
Receive in late August and September.
Order 8/22/24 - 8/25/24
Fall tree planting is a great for establishing roots and seeing the flush of growth in the spring. Great assortment of perennials, Natives, mums, cabbage, kale, ornamental peppers, celosia and pansies, too!
Receive by August 29, trees by Sept. 26.
Order 9/5/24 - 9/8/24
We only offer a tree sale twice a year. Last call for ordering trees. Fall transitions are in full swing! Mums, cabbage, kale, ornamental peppers, celosia and pansies are ready to add those needed pops of color.
Receive by Sept. 12, trees by Sept. 26.
Order 9/12/24 - 9/15/24
Planning a 4 Season Garden – spring bloomers, summer stars, fall color and winter interest can still happen! Plenty of perennials and shrubs are available. Fall annuals of mums, cabbage and kale are ready for the cool weather.
Receive by Sept. 19.
Order 9/19/24 - 9/22/24
Perennials and shrubs still arriving fresh from the nursery! Great time to work in the garden while the ground is soft, and the temperatures are cooler.
Receive by Sept. 26.
Order 10/3/24 - 10/6/24
Still time to get a few more perennials into the ground, let them establish roots and be ready for Spring! A head start for next year has never been so easy!
Receive by Oct. 10.
The best time to buy plants depends on a few things: the kinds of plants you're looking for, when they're most available from the nurseries, the weather, and when you have time to put them into the ground.
Replanting is stressful for plants, so it tends to be easier (on you and them) when the weather is not exceptionally hot and dry. Container-grown perennials can be successfully added at any time as long as you get them into the ground quickly and water them regularly until they are established, but September, October, May and June are the best months to plant most container-grown perennials. Those months also tend to be nice for working in the garden!
Kind of Plants
When They're Most Available...
Annuals (or tender perennials grown as annuals) are used to fill in temporary gaps in the landscape early and late in the season and for fantastic color in the heat of the summer. Some annuals (like Pansies) are quite cold-tolerant and can be planted in April in Chicagoland. Others are tropical and tender, and shouldn't go in the ground until the weather is warmer.
The best time to reserve a great selection of spring annuals is not when you'd think... It's actually while the nurseries are still growing them in greenhouses in mid to late winter. At that time, the plant club can pre-order over a thousand varieties! In May, when everyone is thinking about annuals, those plants have already moved to retail nurseries, so what we can get direct from wholesale nurseries is more limited. Similarly, there are more choices of mums and fall annuals in August.
Perennials are longer-term investments that will make your yard look nice for years to come.
As a group, perennials are at peak availability to the club between May and October. During those months, we'll be making orders from many perennial nurseries a couple of times a month, and there might be nearly 2000 types of perennials available in sizes ranging from big to small! You don't have to buy perennials while they're blooming (they'll get around to it soon enough), but since garden centers make more money selling plants with beautiful flowers, availability from the wholesale nurseries with whom we work peaks just before a plant's typical bloom period.
We try very hard to source exactly what you’d like, but sometimes growers run out of plants! While this variety is a great deal at the price shown, we know that it has limited availability. If you want the plant even if it might be more expensive, or in a different size or quantity -- after you place your order, just send us a quick note at email@example.com. Then, we’ll try to get you some version of this from one of our growers. And if we can’t get it from anywhere, of course, we’ll send a refund!
Plants which are well-adapted to our local climate are most often field-grown (outside). Field-grown plants are generally cheaper and have the advantage of already somewhat acclimated to our cold winters, but that means they’re not artificially far along in the spring and tend to bloom at the normal time in our area.
Spring annuals and tender perennials are typically grown in Greenhouses so they can be ready and luxurious exactly when customers want them. Some perennials are also “forced” into early bloom in greenhouses. In May, there can be a very big difference between field-grown and greenhouse-grown plants of the same type. The latter typically look good right away (so they’re a great choice where that’s important), but we typically pay a premium for it.
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Membership is free, but — since we rely on delivery and local pick-up — you have to live near one of our hubs (or be willing to drive to a site to pick them up). If you live farther away, and would like to help us bring the club to your neighbors, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.