Meet the Staff: Maddison Perzel

Maddison Perzel, Education & Events Coordinator

We’re thrilled to welcome Maddison as the newest member of our Team. Many of you have already met her during some of our recent classes and workshops. She has already planned a great lineup of classes for the rest of our season, and we look forward to what plans she has in the works for 2021. 

PS – looking to schedule a girl scout troup, school-aged field trip, garden club visit, or private workshop group? Connect with Maddison at and she can get you scheduled. Contact her with class/workshop feedback or suggestions too!

Did you go to college? If so, where and degree?
I attended Denison University in Granville, Ohio where I studied Biology and fell in love with plants through my Plant Systematics course.

How long have you worked in horticulture/landscaping?
I’ve been working in horticulture for the past six years. 

How long have you worked at Bedner’s? 
I’m new to the team, so I’m still getting settled into my first few weeks.

Favorite thing about your job:
I love that I get to share my enthusiastic passion for plants with the folks that come to Bedner’s!  I enjoy developing creative and engaging opportunities to get the community excited about gardening.

Top 3 favorite plants:

Without a doubt, my favorite plant is Mountain Mint (Pycnanthemum muticum).  I love this native plant that spreads throughout the garden providing months of blooms for the bees and a minty fragrance when crushed.  I love the many cultivars of salvias for their dark blue blooms that attract hummingbirds.  I also treasure my Pilea peperomioides since it is such a funky houseplant that continues to create propagules that I can share with family and friends!

Best piece of garden advice:
My gardening advice is to plant something for yourself – this gets you out into the garden to enjoy it, then plant something for the ecological benefit – this keeps you coming back to the garden to notice more about the world around you.

Something interesting about you:
I spent a semester in college studying painting in the south of France which has had a lasting artistic impact on my life!

Interests and hobbies:
I love to garden in my free time – especially vegetables and herbs that I incorporate into new recipes.  I’ve recently become obsessed with Dahlias and learning how to grow them for their beautiful cut flowers.  I enjoy playing frisbee with my husband, our goldendoodle puppy, and friends in ultimate frisbee leagues.  I’m also knitting my very first sweater, so I’d say I’m approaching intermediate knitter status. 

Favorite vacation spot:
I absolutely love the Pacific Northwest – great coffee, lush green forests for hiking, a beautiful coast, and delicious food.

Proudest accomplishment:
My proudest accomplishment is continuing to build a career in a field that I love so that I can put my energy and passion into every day. 

Favorite game or sport to watch or play?
Go home team sports! But, I’d rather play a boardgame with my family than tune in for the game 🙂

Meet the Staff: Stacy Campbell

Stacy Campbell, Greenhouse Production Assistant

Stacy has been a dedicated part of the Bedner staff for over nine years now. She works mostly behind the scenes in the production greenhouses– planting, watering and keeping everything looking healthy. She also has the huge job of keeping our plant tag shelves organized, which is no easy task! You may have seen her in the past either restocking the store, at the McDonald Farmer’s Market, or at the Pumpkin Launch tent during Fall Fest. 

Favorite thing about your job:  Watering and learning about the plants, planting container gardens. It’s relaxing to me, or as I say it’s my quiet time.

Top 3 favorite plants: Lantana, Mezoo, and Angelonia

Best piece of garden advice: Know how much sun or shade you have and plant accordingly. Also don’t be afraid to try something new.

Something interesting about you: I can decorate birthday cakes.

Interests and hobbies: Embroidery, cutting & splitting wood, word searches, jigsaw puzzles, baking, cooking.

Favorite vacation spot: Tionesta, because it’s very peaceful and quiet.

Proudest accomplishment: Marrying my best friend and building our house.

Favorite game or sport to watch or play? I like to watch football and the Winter Olympics. I like to play Euchre.

Meet the Staff: Carol Schroeder

Carol Schroeder, Sales Associate

We are honored that, after teaching high school for 32 years, Carol has chosen to spend some of her well-deserved retirement time with us at the greenhouse! She’s been with us for two seasons now, so she may have helped you in choosing plants or at the checkout. She’s also helped out with wine tastings, our Fall Fest birthday parties and field trips, and even in our food truck.

Did you go to college? If so, where and degree?  Yes, Masters in Special Education from Penn State University

Favorite thing about your job:  Interacting with people and learning something new each day.

Top 3 favorite plants: African violets, herbs and cone flowers

Best piece of garden advice: Get your hands dirty, try new plants and know the amount of sunlight required for your plants

Something interesting about you: I recently rode my bike 160 miles from Pittsburgh to Cumberland Maryland on the Great Allegheny Passage.

Interests and hobbies: Biking, baking and reading, and of course gardening!

Favorite vacation spot: A beach anywhere

Proudest accomplishment: Raising two amazing children

Favorite game or sport to watch or play? watch – football, play- family board/card games 

Meet the Staff: Hannah Steimer

Hannah Steimer, Landscape Design Assistant

Hannah has been working in the horticulture industry for over five years now. She started out in the hort department at the Pittsburgh Zoo. She’s been on our Landscape Team for over a year now. She graduated from Community College of Allegheny with an Associate degree in Science and from California University with a Bachelors of Environmental Studies, minoring in Biology and a concentration in Conservation Ecology.

Favorite thing about your job: The abundance of personal and professional development opportunities! I have found it extremely uplifting to find a company that encourages continued growth in their employees. From being provided with professional journals, articles, and books to shadowing my coworkers in the field and freely asking questions, Bedner’s has continued to support and nurture my passion for the industry.

Top 3 favorite plants: Lupine, Calycanthus, and Sycamore

Best piece of garden advice: Know your light conditions. In particular, keep in mind that in the spring, bare-branched trees may give the illusion of sunny spots, but once leafed-out those areas will often be heavily shaded during summer and most of fall! 

Something interesting about you: I almost became a sonographer! I had been accepted into a sonography program and was weeks away from starting, when I realized I couldn’t imagine being happy unless I was working with/in nature. 

Interests and hobbies: Reading (historical fiction in particular), Hiking, Cooking

Favorite vacation spot: Geneva-on-the-Lake, Ohio

Proudest accomplishment: Being an aunt to two lively, naughty, and terribly spoiled little boys!

Favorite game or sport to watch or play? I don’t know how many people would consider it a sport, but the Redbull Soapbox races make for great tv! 

Meet the Staff: Jeremy Gruszka

Jeremy Gruszka, Perennial & Nursery Manager

Jeremy has been working in the horticulture industry for over 16 years. He is a fellow plant nerd that fits right in on our team. He graduated from Pitt with a degree in Marketing. Jeremy oversees the perennial production greenhouses, as well as the perennial and nursery department of the store. In addition to his primary role, he has also helped teach planting workshops and create our online store. 

Favorite thing about your job:
 Working with plants and good people!

Top 3 favorite plants: Dianthus, Echinacea, Heuchera (AND LILIES!)

Best piece of garden advice: This goes for life as well, but don’t be afraid of failure.

Something interesting: I grew up on the property of Longwood Gardens and would go bike riding throughout the gardens, fishing in the ponds, and cockroach crushing in the conservatories after hours. I have also had well over 100 stitches in my head throughout my life.

Favorite time of day: Dusk (sunset/primetime deer hunting)

People would describe me as: Laid back and EXTREMELY good looking.

Interests and hobbies: Anything outdoors, sports, and beer

Favorite vacation spot: Dominica 

Proudest accomplishment: Buying a house

Favorite game or sport to watch or play? Watch: Hockey Play: Basketball

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