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I've been a contributor to the Chicago Tribune's Home & Garden section (now Life&Style) since 1995, and a feature writer for Chicagoland Gardening magazine, The Landscape Contractor, and PlantersPlace.com (Osmocote). I teach garden design and horticulture classes at the Chicago Botanic Garden, the Morton Arboretum, and for other organizations and clubs. My articles have appeared in Organic Gardening (See cover story above on Garlic), Fine Gardening, Old-House Journal, Old-House Interiors, the Chicago Botanic Garden's Smart Gardener web page and the Garden's member publication, Keep Growing.

I received the Garden Writers Association award for newspaper writing (Musings of an Everyday Gardener essays) and was co-author of "The Historic Homes and Gardens of Lockport, IL 1838-2000" for the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency with historian John Lamb of Lockport.  

I was born in Paris (my father was a photographer in the Army his entire career and my family was stationed at SHAPE Headquarters (the Supreme Headquarters of the Allied Powers of Europe--now just a memory). My first garden visit – to Versailles – was as an infant. My degree is in education and environmental science and I garden on a “deer-infested acre” on the fringes of Chicago.  

We use organic practices on our exurban garden, which is surrounded by 1800 acres of forest preserve, not far from a herd of cows and a bevy of draft horses. Our garden features borders and beds designed for bees, butterflies and hummingbirds, a resident family of fox, two pairs of bluebirds in summer and a 1100-square-foot vegetable garden and raised beds.    

When I'm not weeding, reading, hiking, bird watching or writing, I'm sure to be out in the garden, watching the sun set and pondering over the exact names and heights of the cloud formations.      

Questions or comments? Email info@thisgardencooks.com

Observe.  Reflect.  Bloom!

(c) 2017 Nina A. Koziol