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”).
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.
They’re joined in the day-to-day operations of the garden center by their daughter-in-law Liz, and a knowledgeable, friendly staff, including certified Florida nursery professionals.
The Board of Directors comprises Kevin and Theresa, their daughter Aurelia, son Joseph, son-in-law Kris, Liz, and Theresa’s brother Frank Rogers-Witte.
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).
Staff at the Garden
Danyle is a South Florida native who holds a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Studies from UCF. She loves anything and everything outdoors and is interested in landscape design and beautifying using natural elements.
Grounds + Facilities Manager
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!”
Grounds + Facilities Manager
Brian is a South Florida native who moved to Brevard in 1998. An FNGLA-Certified Horticultural Professional, Brian has been involved in horticulture for the last 7 years, but has been interested in plant life cycles since childhood. Brian is working toward becoming an FNGLA-Certified Landscape Technician and in his spare time he likes to surf and fish.
Weddings and Events Coordinator
Jessica has been obsessed with weddings since she was a young child. Since joining the team at Rockledge Gardens, she’s helped build the Weddings and Events department into a thriving part of our local community.
She loves Disney, animals, and sushi.
Amanda is a Board-Certified Entomologist, Beekeeper, and Educator happy to call Florida her new home.
She has always felt her dream job would include plants, insects, and people, so it’s no wonder she loves to spend her free time working as an Information Specialist at Rockledge Gardens! With her strong interest in pollinators, natural insect control, and crafting unique edible landscapes, she hopes to encourage others to enjoy and get the most out of their outdoor living spaces.
Originally from Dallas, Liz holds a BA in Drama/Communications from Loyola New Orleans and an MA in Arts Administration from NYU.
She became involved with this amazing family business when she married the guy whose picture you see to the right of hers.
She’s passionate about nature and this community and is excited to help make Rockledge Gardens a hub for authentic, unforgettable experiences.
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!”
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!
Theresa & Kevin
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
Florida Today article about our Farmer’s Market and local vendors, 1/2020
“Going Native,” Space Coast Living article about growing local, native plants for diversity and sustainability, 9/2017
“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.
Harry Witte at Rockledge Gardens in the 1980s.
The old Rockledge Gardens storefront.
Harry and Mary Witte in the 1990s.
An early version of the Rockledge Gardens sign used part of a recycled rocket gantry from Cape Canaveral.
Rockledge Gardens in the 1960s.