Robert Kourik

Robert Kourik has written 14 books on a variety of topics including drip irrigation, environmentally-sound homes, edible landscaping, and lavender. His articles have appeared in numerous national

publications, including seven in The New York Times. He has received two national awards for the best

article of the year from the Garden Writers Association. Kourik has authored or co-authored 14 books

pertaining to a sustainable home and garden.


Kourik began his career in organic landscape maintenance in 1974, at a time when there were no

convenient pellitized organic fertilizers for lawns and virtually no concrete guidelines. It was seat-ofthe-

pants learning. He received much of his early training and continuing education credits in life skills

from the School of Hard Knocks. During the next 25 years, he honed his horticulture-related skills by

working with clients throughout California and the U.S. During that time, he worked on design projects

of all sizes, shapes, and textures—water gardens, paths and patios, elegant arbors, habitat gardens,

innovative home playgrounds, outdoor barbecue areas, deer-resistant gardens and landscapes, and lowprofile and attractive deer fences, to name a few.


In the late 1970s, he wrote a book that has become a classic in its field, helping to define the genera of

gardening now known as “edible landscaping”. It is his lack of formal college training in horticulture

that enabled him to envision and interpret this new interdisciplinary approach to gardening and

landscaping. Although Kourik focused primarily on organic, natural, sustainable, integrated systems,

permaculture, and appropriate horticulture methods, as a result of his continual on-the-job training, he

has become handy at—and considered an authority on—a host of gardening and landscape-related skills.

He’s still trying to graduate from the School of Hard Knocks.


Kourik lives in Northern California among towering redwoods, many varieties of lavender, and

spreading oak trees with lots of deer. His extensive, twenty-year-old ornamental and herbal drought- and

deer-resistant garden and orchard have never been watered and only mulched . . . no tilling allowed.