Who We Are


Hello and welcome to Possibility Place Nursery. We’ve specialized in growing plants native to Northern Illinois since 1983. When Connor Shaw founded this nursery, he grew standard nursery plants and dug them in a traditional balled and burlapped manner. Once the company started to grow, we came to the realization that we wanted to do something other than grow the standard plant species that every one else was dealing in. We had been interested in native plant material for years but had grown it sparingly due to a limited interest from the public. Or so we thought. The more we grew, the more these plants sold. We had no idea that our love of native plants was shared by such a large group of people.

Our specialty is growing native trees, shrubs and perennials that are indigenous to northeast Illinois. Ninety percent of our plants’ seed is collected in Northern Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Iowa. Plants grown from seed collected in these areas are better adapted to the greater Chicago area than plants grown from seed collected further east and south. The soil and climate have tested these plants for 8,000 years. Only the strong have survived!

We currently raise 50 species of trees and about 60 species of shrubs. We raise about 150 species of forbes, grasses, and sedges.

Some say that just because a plant is native, it won’t necessarily grow in our urban soil. We have often wondered how anything will grow on some new urban sites. On some of these sites, the only difference between the soil and brick is the color! However, for every urban site, there is a native plant that will fit it. It is just a question of putting the right plant in the right place.

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