Keith Sykora is an outdoors kind of guy. He found a way of combining his love of nature with a career, one that brings nature to backyards.

After years of working with native plants as a crew member, crew leader, and superintendent assistant, Keith Sykora decided to start his own business. Stellar Native Plant Nursery, located in Wheaton, offers a wide range of services for homeowners, businesses, municipalities and others with an interest in turning gardens and landscaping into beautiful, vibrant places where butterflies and pollinators thrive.

Stellar Native Plant Nursery offers a wide variety of services for native plant beginners and enthusiasts ranging from site consultations to design, installation and maintenance.

A 2021 project for a homeowner began when a neighbor cleared buckthorn along their shared lot line for installing new fence. Removing the buckthorn allowed weeds to grow and take over the area. The help needed to fix the problem was found at Glen Ellyn’s French Market where the homeowner was buying a plant from Sykora.

A landscaper prepared the area by removing weeds and mulching

Sykora evaluated site for sunlight and moisture, took measurements and put together a list of appropriate plants. The owner requested a “deliberate” look so the garden was designed with pockets, each containing five plants of the same species, alternating along the length of the fence.

Staging the design
The newly planted garden

The new plants settled in and their roots systems were established last year in preparation for this summer’s burst of color. More pictures to come.

All photos courtesy of Stellar Native Plant Nursery