ABOUT NATURA GARDENS
Natura Gardens Garden Center
The idea of Natura Gardens started a few years after Francis "retired" from the greenhouse business and Monika was home raising her young children. Francis and Monika took several years to create a vision of what they wanted the garden center to be and what they wanted to offer to their customers.After a plan was developed many hours went into developing the garden center with Francis building many of the structures himself.
The main goals of Natura Gardens are first to grow carefully chosen plant varieties that perform in Wyoming's harsh growing environment. Second is to have first rate customer service by being friendly and courteous to all of our customers. And third is to always have a trained plant specialist available to answer questions.
Natura Gardens first opened its' doors in 2013 and has continued to grow ever since. The business is open from the first week in May to the last week in June which are considered peak plant buying times. The rest of the year is used to plan and maintain the operation.
Francis X. Jozwik PhD
Francis has been involved with plants both as a scientist and as a business owner for over 40 years. Francis received a PhD. in Plant Science from the University of Wyoming in 1966. He began his professional career lecturing in plant physiology with the University of Wisconsin System and later was appointed to the position of Arid Lands Research Scientist in the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization of Australia.
After coming home from Australia, Francis built a greenhouse and nursery. The business quickly expanded into the largest wholesale/retail greenhouse in Wyoming. While working full time at the greenhouse Francis also wrote numerous books about starting a profitable greenhouse as well as books on greenhouse plant production.
Along with his educational and business experience Francis has always dabbled in native plant species to Wyoming. He has grown many different types of plants, trees and grasses seeing which ones do well in a production and landscape atmosphere.
When Francis is not working on business he enjoys taking his dogs on walks in the country and spending time with his grandchildren.
Monika Jozwik-Ratliff M.S.
Monika has been involved in the greenhouse business since she was a child. She often spent time with her dad at the greenhouses as young as two when he would take her for a ride to check that all was well. As she grew older she was given more small jobs and greater responsibility. During high school she was actively involved in the family business and fondly remembers working many hours alongside her dad and other family members. By the time Monika was in her twenties she was managing the large growing operation which sold both wholesale and retail around the state of Wyoming.
Between all the times working at the greenhouses Monika received her Bachelor's degree in Natural Science from the department of Biology at the University of Wyoming and a Masters in Plant Science from the Department of Agriculture at the University of Wyoming. In 2018 Monika fulfilled the requirements necessary to obtain a Certificate in Horticultural Therapy and is looking forward to practicing in Casper.
Monika now enjoys sharing her knowledge of plants with her four young children.