Bruce Turley

Bruce Turley

Owner, Wilcox Nursery & Landscape

Bruce Turley started working at Wilcox Nursery on October 15th, 1977 directly out of Florida State University and coming with a background in business and visual arts as well as growing up in a family background of agriculture and horticulture. The initial objective in his employment was to gain knowledge of the nursery business and a focus to work in landscape design and installation utilizing his cumulative biology, creative arts, and business backgrounds.

For the first 3 years of employment at Wilcox Nursery, Bruce worked for the business founder and University of Florida horticulture graduate, Everett Wilcox. The nursery started as a traditional family run garden center / nursery and groves in 1951. Wilcox Nursery was one of the first plant nurseries in Pinellas County and was responsible for much of the landscape installations in the neighborhood.

Through the years, Bruce became responsible for the over-all management of operations for the nursery as well as reinstating the landscape design and installation component of the business. A curious naturalist, Bruce became intrigued with growing the beautiful native plants he saw while exploring local woods and parks. He started experimenting with growing some favorites and was initially frustrated by not knowing how to market the native plants.

His interest in knowing more about native plants and ecology led Bruce to the Pinellas Chapter of the Florida Native Plant Society and some great mentors that nourished his desire to learn about native plants, native plant communities, and the connection of wildlife interdependence with native plants. This newly gained understanding and requests from birders and native plant enthusiasts for native plants now fueled the drive to offer more native plants at Wilcox Nursery and started a gradual incorporation of native plants into landscape projects and retail sales.

Upon taking over ownership of the nursery on January 1 of 2000, Bruce felt a great opportunity to grow the nursery into an operation fully stocked in Florida native plants while promoting conservation and the use of these pollinator and wildlife sustaining beauties. Since the nursery had been a landmark business for almost 50 years, it seemed like a great opportunity to draw the general public into a situation that allowed exposure to Florida’s native plants and how they can work to benefit the environment in mainstream landscape applications.

The combination of the traditional garden center product mix with a featured offering of Florida native plants and landscaping has created a unique position in the business to orient the public to use native plants in their projects. They may or may not have ventured to learn about native plants without coming to what they perceive as a tradition garden center and nursery.

Wilcox Nursery and Landscape would not have experienced a fraction of the successes with the Florida native plant focus without the incredible benefit of membership and advertising with the Florida Association of Native Nurseries. The FANN organization is a one of a kind trade organization to help native plant growers, environmental consultants, landscape designers and architects to market their products and services. The organization makes the success of the native plant industry in Florida a reality and is a must for anyone in this growth business.