he largest nursery in southern Indiana recently celebrated the renovation and grand opening of its garden center.

Schneider Nursery Inc., between Seymour and Brownstown at the bottom of Crane Hill, invited local residents, city officials and groups to the open house.

Margie Strange, chairman of the board of directors for the nursery, sees the new renovation as part of a long heritage stretching back to 1949 when her father, George Schneider, and mother, Mae Ellen Schneider, started the nursery.

The business started on 24 acres of land purchased across from the family farm.

“My father had always been very progressive and liked remodeling and redoing. I think he would have liked the expansion,” Strange said.

The renovation takes the place of an older pole barn next to the nursery’s greenhouse.

At roughly 500 acres, the business is now run by Strange, her brother, Grant Schneider, and their families, taking over and continuing the effort after George Schneider’s death and the retirement of Mae Ellen Schneider.

The grand opening was celebrated with former employees, family members, including Mae Ellen Schneider, and government officials, including Seymour Mayor Craig Luedeman.

“(The renovation) is just awesome,” Luedeman said. “The renovation just adds to what they can do here.”

Luedeman also commented how much he felt the renovation opened up the building for visitors to see more of the nursery, and that’s something Strange said was intended by the remodeling.

“I think the expansion means they can see into our fields and see what we really do,” Strange said.

Jim Plump, executive director of Jackson County Industrial Development Corp., also attended the groundbreaking ceremony.

“When a company does renovations like this, it’s always a very good thing, both for the company and the county,” Plump said. “Let’s face it, when you walk out that back and look over all the things they have planted, it’s breathtaking.”

The renovation removed the upper loft of the former building and combined it into one room with a high ceiling and opened the wall for windows.

Plump pointed out that renovations like the one at Schneider Nursery allow for a more open feeling and give the business space for displays and new activities.

Strange said in years past, the nursery offered small events or sold themed items such as Christmas supplies. The renovation will allow the company to consider these options again.

“Some of the things I always hoped we could do, now we can do them,” she said.

At a glance

Schneider Nursery Inc. is at 3066 E. U.S. 50 between Seymour and Brownstown.

For information, call 812-522-4068 or visit

Aaron Piper is a photographer and reporter for The (Seymour) Tribune. He can be reached at or 812-523-7057.