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Contrary Mary’s Plants & Designs

Picture: Tomato Grouping

You know how a group of crows is called a murder, a group of finches is called a charm, a group of Blue Jays is called a party, and a group of owls is called a parliament??? Welllllll…..What do you call a group of tomatoes…???? Give???
Spaghetti Sauce!

Welcome to Contrary Mary’s ! We are a small, family-owned greenhouse located southwest of Chicago. We pride ourselves in our HUGE selection of Heirloom veggie plants, all of which are grown with only organic fertilizers, no GMO’s, and NO pesticides (gotta protect our precious Bee Buddies!)

I can HARDLY believe it (where DOES the time go?!), but closing time is upon us. Our last day that we will be open for the 2021 season is Sunday, June 27, 2021. In the meanwhile, just to entice you to get a wee more planting in (cuz it is DEFINITELY not too late!), we still have the following availability:

A nice selection of herbs including mints (chocolate, peppermint, apple and orange); rosemary (creeping and upright); Stevia (oh so sweet and maaaahvelous!); Greek Oregano, Basil, Parsley, chives, Fennel (A MUST for attracting Swallowtail butterflies!) and French Tarragon. A good selection of Heirloom veggies including Eggplants (perfect in a pot and a MUST for ratatouille!), Celery (a Contrary FAVE), Kohlrabi (a Contrary FAVE and if you’ve never tried it ya know not what ya miss), Peppers (both sweet and hot), some varieties of Heirloom tomatoes, and a new crop of Cucumbers and Zucchini (successive planting is the key to having cukes and Zukes all season long!) We also have Perennial Asclepias (Butterfly weed) that is a necessity for butterflies, Perennial Hibiscus (a must for hummingbirds), and many varieties of our Daring and Dramatic Daylilies.

Come and see us SOON before we bid you Au revoir for another season. Remember, our last day for the season is 6/27/2021!!!

This should put a smile on your face.
Contrary Mary is recommending a book, “History of Ketchup”, by Tom Ato


adjusting her ‘do

Question:   What do flowers wear under their petals?  Under-Plants

Some maaaahvelous news….our Hardworking Honeybees have provided us with a crop of Nectar From The Bee Gods (aka raw honey)! It will be available to include in your pre-order and also when we open (but it won’t last long so if ya snooze ya looze!). It is yummy-niciousness in a bottle and fabulous health wise for you. If ya never had raw honey ya know not what ya miss!

Just a reminder….WE WILL NO LONGER BE SHIPPING HOSTAS, PEONIES, AND DAYLILIES. Last year I reluctantly made the decision to discontinue the shipping side of the business as it has become too difficult to maintain the walk-in side and the shipping side, and I don’t want quality and service to suffer. I came to the conclusion that I unfortunately can’t do it all!

And please remember….if you are coming for anything special, CALL OR EMAIL FIRST!!!!!!!!!! Just because it is listed on the website does not mean it is currently available. I do not yet know when I can/will be digging hostas and daylilies, but you can give me a possible wish list. I will hopefully be updating my Hosta, Peony and Daylily pages soon (after the veggie rush).

In the meantime, check out our NEW ANNUALS/PERENNIALS 2021  page, TOMATO page (over 100 varieties available….I know, a wee bit over the top, plus I finally updated my new top ten-ish list), PEPPER page, our egg-celent EGGPLANT page, our Mountains of Marvelous MELON page (with a new introduction), our Gobs of Crispy and Quirky CUKES page, our Herds of Handy HERBS page, our Sassy and Stupendous SQUASH/ZUCCHINI page, and our miscellaneous (but of course “gotta-have”) OTHER VEGGIES page.

I am soooooo looking forward to hearing from and seeing (safely) my precious Plantheads! PLEASE take care of yourselves, and remember to be extra kind. We so very much appreciate and are grateful for your support and patronage. Chins Up, Trowels Out, and Smiles On….Stay Safe and Think Green!!!

2021 Summary:

Last day we are open for 2021 season is Sunday 6/27/2021
Thank you so much!!!

Please note that OUR HOURS HAVE CHANGED.


9:00 am to 5:00pm (CLOSED Mondays and Tuesdays).

Appointments CAN be made outside our normal opening hours.

We are again offering the preorder/pickup option. 

You can place a telephone order at (815) 521-9535 or order via email

Order pickups can still be arranged even when we are open for walk-ins.

Contrary Mary
Contrary Charlie
Duncan, Lexi, Finnegan, and Geordie