About

North Branch Natives is a home-grown, sustainable Chicago business offering gardening solutions and support for the DIY native gardener.

We believe in gardening not only for the beauty and quiet joy that comes from tending ones landscape, but for the spectacle that comes along with it. If you've ever watched a bumblebee as she visits the early season blooms of Penstemon, or sat in awe crouched down in the middle of a patch of late season asters, you understand the happiness that a natural garden can bring. We're always thinking about environment and how to make our little slice of life more meaningful and impactful. 

"Gardening with native plants has transformed my yard.  Personally, it's brought me so much joy.  Liz has taught me that a garden can constantly evolve and has given me the confidence to experiment each season.  AND, I'll always have something to look forward to!" —Dana D., Jeff Park, Chicago.

"NBN!!!! Awesome season again, Liz! I can’t believe this was our third year of the garden! Thank you for transforming our yard (and our lives and our planet, let’s be honest!). 💗"  —Jen B., Edgebrook, Chicago

So, here's the run-down...

We offer consultations, classes, and locally grown native plants as part of our planting service. Join our garden community and get regular emails on when to water, how to prep a new garden, cutting back, adding new plants, and really everything you'll need to know to make your garden buzz.

Good for you, good for the planet!

ABOUT US

Nicki Achor

Nicki has her horticulture degree from Purdue University, with a focus on public gardens. She has amazing knowledge of Illinois native plants and all the bees, butterflies and birds that visit them. If you have booked a consult lately, then you have likely benefitted from her insights, gardening know-how and mad design skills. 

We are all so excited to be helping Chicago-area gardeners to create spaces full of nature, beauty and a sense of wonder. 

 

Kate Bolkin

Kate is a masters student in the Plant Biology and Conservation Program at Northwestern University in collaboration with the Chicago Botanic Garden. Kate is originally from Los Angeles but received her bachelors degree in Conservation Biology and Environmental Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2020. She spent 3 years working as an ISA certified arborist and environmental educator at TreesCharlotte, an urban forestry non-profit in Charlotte, NC. There, she led presentations and workshops on a variety of horticultural and ecological topics, performed site assessments, made planting plans, and created a program to provide free tree care for economically disadvantaged individuals. She moved to Chicago in summer 2023 to pursue her master’s degree. Kate is most passionate about “bringing a little slice of nature into urban living” by creating landscapes that marry the aesthetic and functional needs of people with ecosystem restoration principles.

 

Katarina Holecek

Kat is a passionate student of naturalistic gardening and urban ecology. She began her horticulture journey working for the North Carolina Botanical Garden, a conservation garden, while obtaining her B.S. in Environmental Science at UNC Chapel Hill. Since graduating, she has moved to Chicago and worked in numerous stewardship roles, enjoying projects with native, perennial, and ecologically-sound design. Katarina has a ton of enthusiasm for connecting people to plants and would love to chat about any garden questions you may have!

 

Liz & Jane 💚

We're Liz Vogel and Jane Hamill - Chicago neighbors and friends who share a love of native plants and beautiful gardens all abuzz with bees and butterflies.

One of us is a professional eco gardener and designer with a masters in landscape architecture who spouts off proper plant names like it's nothin' (Liz)...

One of us is a serial entrepreneur & business coach (seen on CNN, NPR, Entrepreneur, WWD, The Chicago Tribune, and more) who absolutely loves being in the garden, especially if there's a cozy chair and a glass of prosecco (Jane) ... 

We are a match made in heaven and our goal is to make your garden amazing!

 

"You don't have to be good at gardening for gardening to be good for you."

- Amanda Thomsen, Kiss My Aster