Eileen Schilling, 1958 - 2021

Horsford Gardens & Nursery wouldn’t be what it is today without Eileen Schilling’s legacy over the past 40 years.

Eileen began a long and fruitful career at Horsford Gardens & Nursery in the spring of 1980 as the greenhouse assistant and perennial grower. Six years later, she and her husband Charlie bought the nursery. For the next 35 years, they dedicated their working lives to rebuilding this historic nursery to beyond its former dignity and glory.

Since the beginning, Eileen would jump in wherever needed. She enjoyed working alongside the other workers at the nursery. Eileen rarely gave speeches or basked in attention – to the contrary, her greatest pleasure came from being one of the crew, with sleeves rolled up and ready to go.

Over the years, Eileen mastered many roles at the nursery, whether that be planting the greenhouse, tending to the perennial department, or running the retail department. She always planted the grounds with a flourish only her artistic eye could achieve. She took pride in having display gardens that made the nursery feel like a local botanical garden.

Eileen led by example, outworking all of the younger workers whenever she could. Long after employees had gone home for the night, Eileen could be seen putting in a new garden, maintaining others, or pulling plants for the planting she was planning on installing the next day.

Visitors have discovered her nursery as a truly magical place. Whether it be in pots and containers, or in planting 1,000 bulbs along the south meadow of the entry drive, her eye and intuition for natural beauty delighted us all.