The Garden Beat

About me

Gardens and nature, that's the beat I cover.

From lettuce to lichens, from compost to cosmos, from pruning to pesticide-free lawns, from Lake Michigan to the far horizon, I've wondered about a lot of things that have to do with plants and nature and set out to find the answers. I dig in the dirt and tramp in the woods and I've learned a thing or two.  

I've written thousands of articles and blog posts, as an editor and garden writer for the Chicago Tribune and a freelance writer for magazines such as Organic Gardening, Country Gardens, Chicagoland Gardening and The American Gardener. I've won awards from the Garden Writers Association while exploring landscapes all over the country.

As a writer and speaker, I'm an evangelist for common-sense gardening that is sustainable for the planet and for people; making friends with nature; and the satisfaction of lunching on your own warm, sweet home-grown tomatoes. I tell a good story and I give solid advice. 

Raised on the South Side by an organic gardener and environmentalist, I now garden in a leafy suburb on the edge of Chicago -- in the deep shade on the north side of a four-story building, in the sunny strip by the garbage cans, in pots on the third-floor porch and on windowsills in the winter. 

I am also am a senior writer at The Morton Arboretum and a communications consultant to nonprofit organizations. Learn more about that at my other site,

The Garden Beat is an enterprise of Beth Botts Consulting LLC.

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This brief biographical note can be used for announcements, newsletters and websites in connection with speaking engagements. Feel free to trim as needed.

Beth Botts has written hundreds of articles about gardens and nature for publications including the Chicago Tribune and magazines including Organic Gardening, Country Gardens and Chicagoland Gardening. Raised on the South Side of Chicago by an organic gardener, she now gardens in deep shade on the north side of a four-story apartment building. She crowds her roses into one small bed where the sun sneaks between the trees and grows tomatoes and herbs on the third-floor porch. Her website is