"My garden is a giant coloring book, a laboratory, and a mini-produce section with seasonal organic food," Nina Koziol says. She teaches garden design and horticulture classes at the Chicago Botanic Garden, the Morton Arboretum, and for other organizations and clubs. Her gardening articles have appeared in Organic Gardening, Fine Gardening, Old-House Journal, Old-House Interiors, Chicagoland Gardening, and she is a long-time contributor to the Chicago Tribune. She received the Garden Writers Association award for newspaper writing (“Musings of an Everyday Gardener”) and is co-author of "The Historic Homes and Gardens of Lockport, IL 1838-2000" for the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency. Born in Paris, she made her first garden visit – to Versailles – as an infant.
She holds a degree in education and environmental science, and gardens on a “deer-infested acre” on the fringes of Chicago. She and her husband Ron use organic practices in their exurban garden, located on the fringes of Chicago’s suburbs, not far from a herd of cows and a bevy of draft horses. Her garden features expansive borders and beds designed for bees, butterflies and hummingbirds, a resident family of fox, two pairs of bluebirds in summer, an 1100-square-foot vegetable garden, greenhouse, raised herb beds, container gardens and much more. Her flower and shrub borders, containers and edible gardens take inspiration from her grandparents' garden in Essex, England, which was a combination of flowers, herbs, vegetables, rock garden, pond, potting shed, greenhouse and blue hydrangeas the size of basketballs. The ultimate Victory Garden. She corresponds regularly with her gardening cousins in England and laments that they can grow stunning blue delphiniums (while she cannot!).
When she’s not weeding, reading, fishing, hiking, bird watching or writing, she’s sure to be out back, watching the sunset and debating with her husband over the exact names and heights of the cloud formations. Her website, www.thisgardencooks, is aimed at new and experienced gardeners, those who enjoy fresh vegetables, herbs and fruits, and those who simply like to observe and reflect on nature.
Nina's Featured Articles
Five Easy-to-Grow Succulents
How to Grow Your Own Salsa Ingredients
Holiday Gift Ideas for Gardeners
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