At Home With Nature


I’m a gardener, blogger, and freelance writer who focuses on the sustainable side of growing plants wherever I can find it – for instance, using low till methods to reduce soil (and soil life) damage, taking a pesticide free approach to growing food, and choosing native plants whenever possible.

I don’t stick to one approach, but try to combine the best of many practices to grow landscapes full of vitality, balance, and beauty.

At Hearthwilde, I write about my efforts in the garden and on the small farm my husband and I share with three donkeys, two sheep, and a passel of pets, as well as our neighboring and resident wildlife.

Growing with nature is a motto of sorts for me – not just in the garden but in every facet of life.

I find the garden serves as a perfect microcosm for the bigger picture of how I live my life: do as little damage as possible, don’t assume a stranger is a foe, take time to recognize and enjoy beauty, accept help where it is available.

(Speaking of microcosms… I particularly love the way macro photography allows me to see what I would otherwise be unable to see, so I post a lot of close up photos here.)

I started my gardening adventures working for a small, family owned nursery when I was in high school, and after many years living abroad, came back to my love of gardening in 2012.

I have a BA in Liberal Studies from UNCG, a certificate in Permaculture Design from the Permaculture Education Center, a Landscape for Life certificate offered through the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center and the United States Botanic Garden, as well as a Certificate in Native Plant Studies from the UNCC Botanical Gardens.

In addition to my nature-focused approach to gardening, I have a background in environmental health. I worked for several years as a Building Biology Environmental Consultant, offering environmental and sustainability home inspections and guidance, so living a low EMF lifestyle, avoiding toxins, and ensuring my choices are sustainable in the garden as well as at home are all high priorities.

One last thing before I wrap this up – like many of you, I suffer from eco despair, or earth grief caused by the seemingly unstoppable destruction of the natural world around me. Gardening isn’t a cure for this despair, there is no cure, but growing things brings me to the beauty of the present and takes the focus off of the gloom of the future.

Gardening also allows me to create a small oasis for the plants and animals that need one.

Thanks for joining me here. I wish you happiness and healing as you grow with nature too!

– Kristina

Updated July 7, 2023