About Us

Honeylocust leaves in the garden center, October 2013

Honeylocust leaves in the garden center, October 2013

Founded in 1947, the family-owned company began with a single greenhouse and a roadside stand offering bare-root perennials and field-grown shrubs. In later years up to 35 employees were engaged in retail and growing operations on three farms with over 35 acres in production.

During 2017 the owners, Kris and Mark Gilson, approaching age 65, elected to liquidate the nursery and garden center, with the intention of selling to others interested in maintaining this proud horticultural tradition!

We have always believed that a nursery should play a unique and important role in the community. It should be a pleasant and mellow place to visit or work, a place to connect with people and plants, a place to learn, a place to grow. Since 1983 over 750 workers sweated over the fields and greenhouses at Gilsons! Our proudest achievement relates to all the student-workers we have employed over the years!  During 2017 we had children of former student workers on staff!  In addition, we continue to cherish and respect this fertile land along the shores of Lake Erie and the rich ecosystem that surrounds it.  We take seriously our responsible stewardship during the short time (70 years!) and the three generations that it was on loan to us.

During 2018 Kris  moved on to part-time work at Ballantines Florist in Mentor.  Mark stayed around until May 2019 wrapping up nursery affairs.  A final auction of the Main Farm took place in May 2019

The closing and transition is bittersweet.  Yet, here is a beginning and ending to all human endeavors.  Mark continues his website posts on environmental horticulture, nursery history, politics! and the human zoo.

Over the years, Mark Gilson, President, backed up his commitment to industry and community affairs with a variety of activities:

Our previous affiliations: