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about Rockledge Gardens

Local, family-owned, experienced & community-spirited…

Fifty-five years of Florida growing

Rockledge Gardens was founded in 1960 by Harry Witte, a bulb farmer who had settled in Brevard County in 1948 with his wife Mary. In the earliest days, before the Space Coast boom, Rockledge Gardens was essentially a road-side stand run on the honor system (our sign said, “grab a bag of soil and leave your money in the can”). Through the 1960s and 1970s we evolved into a full-fledged nursery business — the largest and most complete garden center in Brevard County.

Over the years Harry and Mary’s six children took turns working in the family business; today Rockledge Gardens is owned and managed by their youngest daughter and her husband, Theresa and Kevin Riley, with Mary Witte still involved. They’re joined in the day-to-day operations of the garden center by their son-in-law Kris, daughter Aurelia, son Joseph, and daughter-in-law Liz, and a knowledgeable, friendly staff, including certified Florida nursery professionals. 

Rockledge Gardens has won numerous community and industry awards, including from the City of Rockledge and Keep Brevard Beautiful, and recognition from the state nursery association (FNGLA).

Riley family at Rockledge Gardens

“Fresh From Florida”: Liz, Joseph, Kris, Theresa, and Kevin; with Mary Witte

our staff

Ready to help your Florida garden grow…

Dane
Dane

Sales Manager

Dane has worked at Rockledge Gardens for more than 15 years. He got his very first job at Rockledge Gardens as a teenager and literally grew up in the business, to become an FNGLA Certified Horticulture Professional and complete his certification in Green Industries Best Management Practices. He specializes in landscape planning, maintenance, and plant selection. “I love working outside and learning about unique plant varieties—and sharing that passion with our customers.” 

Steve
Steve

Gardening Information

Steve is an FNGLA Certified Horticulturist and has worked at Rockledge Gardens since 2000. He’s been interested in growing since he was old enough to walk; his family grew their own tomatoes, potatoes, cabbage, peppers, onions, lettuce, and herbs. A wealth of gardening knowledge, Steve specializes in trees, especially citrus. What he loves about working here: “The sheer pleasure of meeting and sharing gardening information with our many patrons, friends, and customers!”

Michelle
Michelle

Gardening Information

Michelle became interested in gardening at a young age helping her grandmother in the garden. She started her first herb and veggie garden when she was 13. Since then she’s worked on hydroponic and traditional farms and at other garden centers. Michelle is especially interested in herbalism, permaculture, and ethnobotany, and she is currently studying Flordia Native Horticulture. She’s happy to share knowledge of the relationships between science and plant hobbies.

Merrideth
Merrideth

Purchasing/Merchandising

Merrideth has loved gardening since she was three years old and first helped her mom plant a veggie garden. She has been beautifying Rockledge Gardens for more than ten years, and is FNGLA Certified, specializing in flower beds and container gardens. Her favorite thing about working at Rockledge Gardens? “Not having to own lipstick or panty hose!”

Paul

Annuals & Perennials

Paul is a Florida native hailing from Hamilton County. His passion for horticulture comes from his grandmother and mother. For 12 years Paul co-owned and operated a nursery just north of Gainesville specializing in annuals and perennials for smaller garden centers. He’s been involved in horticulture for more than 25 years and is still amazed at the joy and emotion that plants bring to people. He loves to help customers find the right plant for their growing environment and to hear their success stories. Paul is an FNGLA Certified Horticultural Professional.

Holly
Holly

Greenhouse

Holly has been working for Rockledge Gardens for nearly ten years. Her interest in growing things began at a young age helping her mother in the garden. Holly specializes in greenhouse plants and house plants, and loves creating gorgeous specialized container gardens for our customers.

Dar
Dar

Greenhouse

Dar has been working at Rockledge Gardens since 1997 and has loved gardening her whole life, starting with planting fruit trees and vegetable gardens with her parents. Dar is responsible for many of the beautiful display gardens on view at Rockledge Gardens. Her favorite part about working here? “The freedom to be creative!”

Cindy
Cindy

Field Trips and Little Bugs Club

Cindy feels blessed to live life doing the two things she loves best: spending time with children, and gardening. Children fill her with energy, while gardening soothes her soul!

Liz
Liz

Director of Marketing and Events

Liz is passionate about parties. She loves Rockledge Gardens because it gives her an opportunity to plan unforgettable community celebrations, seminars, and workshops in a gorgeous setting. She’s excited to help YOU plan your next event too!

Joseph

Designs & Displays

Kevin and Theresa’s oldest son Joseph was raised at Rockledge Gardens — in fact, his first home was a cottage on the south side of the property, where he toddled among the plants every day. He started bagging soil when he was 10 and worked at the cash register throughout high school. Today, Joseph contributes to the family business, bringing his passions and experience as an artist and theatrical scenic designer to help make Rockledge Gardens an inspiring, beautiful, and fun place to be!

Kris
Kris

General Manager

Kris grew up in East Tennessee, where his family and friends raised cattle and horses, and grew tobacco, corn, and hay for livestock. “The first thing that sparked my interest in gardening and farming was the smells,” Kris says. “I know that sounds funny, but in Tennessee you could always tell when hay was being cut or a fresh field had been plowed. Nothing like it!” His favorite part about working here?  “The pride in knowing that we are a family-centered nursery. And not just literally … our co-workers, even our customers, feel like family.”

Kevin and Theresa Riley
Theresa & Kevin

Owners 

Theresa’s father Harry started Rockledge Gardens in 1962.  While all six of Harry’s children took turns working in the family business, it was Theresa, the youngest, who would make Rockledge Gardens her life’s work. In 1973 she got her high school sweetheart, Kevin, a job at Rockledge Gardens pulling weeds. Forty-some years later, Kevin and Theresa are married with their own three children, and the family continues to keep the spirit of beauty and community alive at Rockledge Gardens.

Rockledge Gardens news

“Become a Gardening Guru,“ Florida Today Spaces article about the Harry and Mary Witte Learning Center pavilion and gardens, 5/20/17 

“Fanciful Fairies,” Florida Today Spaces article about the 2017 Rockledge Gardens Fairy Garden Festival, 3/25/2017

“Rockledge Gardens Remains All in the Family,” Florida Today, 5/5/2014

“Have a Fairy Good Time,” Florida Today TGiF article about Rockledge Gardens Fairy Garden Festival, 5/29/2015

Rockledge Gardens founder Harry Witte with his daughter Theresa (current owner) in the 1960s.  

Theresa and Harry

Harry Witte at Rockledge Gardens in the 1980s.

Harry Witte at Rockledge Gardens

The old Rockledge Gardens storefront.

Harry Witte at Rockledge Gardens

Harry and Mary Witte in the 1990s.

Mary and Harry Witte

An early version of the Rockledge Gardens sign used part of a recycled rocket gantry from Cape Canaveral.

Rockledge Gardens

Rockledge Gardens in the 1960s.

early Rockledge Gardens storefront