Shelterwood is open by appointment only until further notice. See the Direction & Hours page.
For those who have a Lawn 2 Legume grant deadline looming, I am here for you. Come out and we'll get you three seasons of blooming native species appropriate for your yard.
To be added to the seasonal newsletter list, email me at: 
Growing over 200 species, Shelterwood is likely to have what you cannot find anywhere else. Nearly all species are mature plants -meaning that our plants have been growing two, three, or more years and have overwintered, outdoors. Winter vernalization creates a hardier plant at planting time than those grown lushly in a greenhouse.

Benefits of Planting Mature, Over-wintered Native Plants
  • The hardiness advantage. Plugs that leave the warm, humid greenhouse can be stressed by our fickle climate that offers up wind, drought, heat or a late freeze
  • Larger plants may have better rates of survival when browsed by deer
  • Nearly all are ready-to-flower, benefiting pollinators and you much sooner
  • Self-seeding can occur in the same year as planted
  • Larger plants are less likely to be missed by the water hose
  • Less likely to be stepped on compared to small plugs during critical first few months
  • Plants sometimes come with herbivores like caterpillars and yes, delicious aphids, predators like lady beetles, spiders and lacewings, and pollinators like solitary, stem nesting bees. This helps establish the fauna your new planting aims to support!
Negatives to Planting Mature Plants
  • Plants have higher initial cost -in line with conventional nursery potted plants
  • More plastics due to larger, thicker pots
  • Where plugs are watered regularly, they may establish roots in your soil more quickly

I have introduced more shrubs to help you establish a more wildlife friendly garden or yard. Species like Ninebark, Snowberry, Black Elderberry, Gray Dogwood, and Winterberry. See price list page for stock and all species.

I can supply a number of different Minnesota native species in plug trays and can mix and match in quantities of six, at competitive prices. If this is of interest, please email me as soon as possible (email address above). If you want to plant in the matrix style, I can supply matrix species (grass or sedge) in plug tray quantities at a lower price than if you planted with 2QT or Gallon pots. After April 18th plug orders are for multiple full tray orders or special orders only. Trays of 36, regardless of species mix, are $2.30 per plug. Less than full trays of 36 are $2.60 per plug. Special plug orders will be subject to additional charges. Please email for your specific request.

If you are the recipient of a Lawn2Legumes grant -congratulations! Shelterwood is a favorite supplier for grant recipients. Make an appointment and we can spend some time to help select plants for three seasons. Bring a baggie of your soil and a summer yard photo if you need help choosing species. Receipts with species listed are sent via email or text message.

A note on prices: I sell mature plants. This means that the vast majority of plants you find at Shelterwood will be in their 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th growing season. Some plants grow faster, some are difficult to raise to maturity and the length of time and labor that went into growing out a species to maturity is reflected in its price. This is especially true for plants like the spring ephemerals, ferns, or Michigan Lily. Most gardeners have been trained by the annual marketplace where pot size indicates how much plant you are buying. Keep in mind that Shelterwood pot size is matched to plant needs so that small pots do not necessarily indicate immaturity. Example: Prairie Shooting Star is unlikely to require more than a tall four inch pot for several years. I value the investment you are making in creating habitat and will suggest lower price options -even if it sends you to nursery alternatives. The most important thing you can do to protect your investment is educate yourself on the conditions required for the desired plants and the conditions you have in your yard.

Find us on Google Maps here. See Hours & Directions page in the menu for current hours.

Shelterwood is located at our homestead in the woods. Please drive slowly down the gravel drive, curve right at the fork and park diagonally in the marked spot on the right.

Shelterwood Gardens accepts credit cards,
personal checks, and cash.

A Note for Landscape Professionals: 
Shelterwood is a retail nursery for home gardeners. I do not sell wholesale and always charge sales tax. I am happy to sell to designers and landscape companies, but please be aware that Shelterwood reserves the right to set purchase quantity limits on any species. If species are needed in quantity or you need me to grow species to maturity for you, please contact me ahead of that need.

Our Ecological Footprint:
Plastic is the bane of the nursery industry, but there are few effective alternatives. Small scale allows us to succ
essfully re-use solid, clean pots. You are welcome to return only our pots to the nursery on a return visit. Please note: plastic pots, even those stamped #5, cannot be recycled due to color and other factors.

Shelterwood does not utilize a heated greenhouse. Mature plants are grown outside, where they have survived one or more winters. Several species are grown from local seed suppliers, such as Prairie Moon in Winona, or seed I collect. Difficult to germinate species are started by trusted, MN Dept of Agriculture licensed and Certified Pollinator Friendly, wholesale nursery partners. Shelterwood grows these young plants to maturity outside, in pots, at the same nursery you visit. 

All plants are grown without neonicotinoids or other pesticides. Shelterwood does not grow or sell species listed as invasive or noxious. 

My potting soil is a mix of Minnesota pine bark chips, STA-certified compost, and depending on species, 5-30% of Perlite, peat moss or sand. I've seen no indication of jumping worms in any of my source materials. If you have jumping worms on your property, please clean shoes before visiting the nursery -thank you!

We do not stock cardboard trays to protect car seats. Please be sure to bring something to protect your car interior from soil or water. We sometimes have a few cardboard trays around if you have forgotten to bring something..

Blue lobelia, Lobelia siphilitica, a wonderland of blue spires into autumn.

Verbena hastata, Blue Vervain -good for wet to medium soils, part shade to full sun.

On the left is Short's Aster, but did you know goldenrod is also an aster? Blue-stem Goldenrod
The name Hairy Beardtongue, Penstemon hirsutus, doesn't indicate at all how delightful this near native plant is in the garden. The blue-violet-purple-periwinkle-white flowers are like soft lanterns in the landscape. A great plant that is native just to our south and east.

It would be a shame to have a savanna or woodland garden without the crown-like flowers of Columbine,  Aquilegia canadensis.  The native plant has carmine red and yellow flowers and can bloom early in a warm spring and keep on going into summer if it doesn't heat up too much.

Prairie Clover, Dalea purpurea, is a fantastic plant to speckle your part shade to sun garden with magenta-pink flowers in summer.  Seen here with the minnow-like inflorescence of Blue Grama, Bouteloua gracilis.

I don't see any pollinators on this Rose Milkweed, Asclepias incarnata, do you? For those who want a less "spready" milkweed that Monarchs love, this is a great one!
Black-Eye Susan, Rudbeckia hirta, is a biennial plant -start them from seed instead of buying plants! They love areas where they can catch the sun unencumbered by other plants. Native meadows often have many of these at first, then dwindling in the second and third years due to the competition. These flowers look like they were applied with a painter's brush and bring a lot of joy, so allow it to self-seed around the edges and transplant it where you want it, or keep a clear area to seed yearly.