We are 3 generations of growers located in Rensselaerville, New York. This small town has long been dedicated to preserving our land with establishing the Huyck Preserve and Biological Research Station along with The Carey Center for Global Good. William's Wildflowers strives to educate along side of these establishments by sustainably growing with native and New York-friendly wildflowers for events and celebrations. Our flowers are local, fresh and grown organically without the use of fertilizers or pesticides.
Rachel Andre is a graduate of Hunter College in New York City with a background in art history and sculptural design. She has worked as a horticultural intern at Florida Native Plants Nursery and was a volunteer for San Francisco's Golden Gate Park Botanical Gardens. She has a passion for all wildlife with a particular interest in floral design, edible gardening and promoting native flora for a sustainable environment. Rachel is currently desiging for, managing and establishing the upstate New York location for William's Wildflowers.
Annie Schiller has worked at Florida Native Plants Nursery in Sarasota for four years now, but was born in the Bronx and raised in both Chicago and Florida. She designs butterfly gardens, grows and maintains native and Florida-friendly plants, designs and maintains social and print media (including this website and www.floridanativeplants.com) and assists customers that come through the gate. She is interested in wildlife and edible gardening, permaculture, homesteading, vermicompost, sustainable practices, eco-art, and floral design. Annie has a background in visual art, art history and graphic design from Florida State University and from her years spent living and working in New York City. Annie currenlty designs 'growing bowls' and arranges and designs wildflower bouquets for the Florida branch of William's Wildflowers.
Laurel Schiller is a native New Yorker and co-owner of The Florida Native Plants Nursery in Sarasota and William's Wildflowers - New York and Florida. She has a degree in wildlife biology from Oregon State University and a degree in systematics and ecology from Indiana State University. Laurel taught biology at Roosevelt University in Chicago. She also worked as a mammalogist at the New York Zoological Society (Bronx Zoo) and at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago. She is a former National Landscape Design Critic (Florida Garden Club), a Florida Master Gardener, and a Florida Master Naturalist. Since moving to Venice, Florida, in 1994, with her husband and three children, Laurel's interests have been channeled into preserving the natural environment. She has served two terms as vice-president of the Florida Association of Native Nurseries and chair of the State Education Committee for the Association. She has served on the board of directors for the Friends of the Rails to Trails Park in Sarasota, many years on the county park's board and as vice chair for the Sarasota Tree Advisory Council. She served two terms as president of the Friends of Oscar Scherer Park, Inc., two terms as a Sarasota County Planning Commissioner, and had been the chair of the City of Venice Planning Commission. Laurel designs native plantings for natural areas for homeowners as well as homeowner associations. She specializes in native plant restoration and mitigation work and enjoys creating wildlife habitat. She has worked on native plant designs for numerous school sites and for state, county, and city lands. Laurel is on the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens' Speaker's Bureau and Sarasota's Peace Center Speaker's Bureau. Laurel presents programs and seminars on Florida native plants, natural Florida landscaping and eco-gardening to groups and societies throughout Southwest Florida. With her former nursery partner, Dan Walton, Laurel has written Natural Florida Landscaping published in 2007 by Pineapple Press.
Dr. William E. Keller, Dad, Grandpa Bill, was our inspiration for this business. Thirty years ago he turned the pasture next to our home in upstate New York into a wildflower meadow. All who walked by stopped to admire it. Grandchildren chased each other down the paths. We had a wedding in it. It was and remains a living legacy from a passionate gardener.