The Eileen Crocker Hart Botanical Garden is currently a private, two-acre, tropical garden near Tampa, FL, transitioning to a community resource for education, research and therapy.
Eileen passed away unexpectedly in June of 2021, leaving her beautiful garden without a caretaker. Eileen's family wishes to transform the garden into a public resource for education, research therapy and fun for the local community. The family is garnering support from friends, family, neighbors, community leaders, universities, plant societies, and county programs like 4-H, and Master Gardeners, in order to keep the gardens healthy as we develop a plan for it's transition to serve the community.
Eileen created her garden over a period of 46 years, starting from a sandy, desolate lot on a lake with a few, sparse trees, into a lush, rich, tropical paradise, overflowing with palms, bromeliads, orchids, begonias, citrus fruits, ferns, gingers, cycads and so much more!
Eileen Crocker Hart was a cherished wife, mother, daughter, sister, aunt, and grandmother. She was also an accomplished master-gardener in Hillsborough County, Florida for over 40 years. Her unexpected passing in June of 2021, left her life's work, her 2-acre tropical garden, without its loving caretaker. Eileen began developing her landscape in 1975 from a bare, sandy, lake-front plot to a rich, layered, jungle garden with thousands of tropical plants. There are now more than 1000 particular species, varieties and cultivars to enjoy.
We are reaching out to all those who knew her and who benefitted from her incredible botanical knowledge, wisdom and friendship. We're asking for contributions of financial support until we can transition her life's work into a dedicated botanical garden with a self-supporting system and a mission of educating the public. With your help, we can keep providing the educational, fun, wildlife-filled, florally-rich, magical experiences Eileen sought to share with everyone she knew!
Eileen logged thousands of hours as a master-gardener volunteer, traveling all over Florida (AND the southeastern US!) teaching classes on plant identification, propagation, and pathology.
As a graduate of the first class of Hillsborough County Master Gardeners in 1981, Eileen freely gave thousands of plants, cuttings, grafts and air-layers from her own garden, and delighted in her students' new found joy for plants! She contributed to and was highly active in multiple plant societies and organizations for decades because she had a passion for learning and teaching others. Help us keep the passion going!
If you or your organization has benefitted from her active philosophy of sharing plants and botanical knowledge, please consider giving back to save her gardens!
Explore Eileen's Gardens: Eileen C Hart Botanical Garden Facebook Page
Read more about Eileen's life: Eileen's Life and Legacy