CLOSED for the season, re-opening April 5, 2024!

Family News

In 2008, both of the Hornbaker daughters got married at Hornbaker Gardens. 

Molly married Russ Blogg in June. Molly works here at the Gardens, and is taking more responsibility from Rich’s shoulders each year. She is now CEO of Hornbaker Gardens, Inc. Russ is a district heritage biologist with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. In November of 2014, they had their first child, Emmett William Blogg, the third Hornbaker grandchild. In January of 2017, they welcomed a second son, Oliver Ray Blogg, and in July of 2020, a third son, Miles Rowan Blogg.

Sara, the eldest of the three Hornbaker siblings, married Mike Tracey in October that same year. Sara taught kindergarten in Bloomington for several years, and now works in the junior high libraries. Mike is a financial analyst for Country Financial. In January of 2010, they blessed Rich and Kathy with their first grandchild, Caleb Thomas Tracey, and in February of 2012, their first granddaughter, Addison Ann Tracey.

Hornbaker Family 1985

David, the youngest of the Hornbaker siblings, graduated from the University of Illinois in May, 2010, with a degree in Horticulture. He works at the Gardens, taking charge of the creation and maintenance of our gardens, overseeing a major renovation of the gardens during the 2017 season. He married Laura Marek in October of 2015 at our new event center, The Barn. Laura is an occupational therapist for the BMP Special Education Cooperative. In April of 2018, they had their first child, a son, Sylvin Ray Hornbaker, and in July of 2020, a daughter, Eilee Kathlene Hornbaker.

Rich with the grandkids 2021

In August of 2014, Kathy Hornbaker died after suffering from frontal lobe dementia for several years. She was instrumental in the establishment and operation of Hornbaker Gardens, and is greatly missed by her family, friends, and the many customers who got to know her. You can read Kathy’s obituary here.

The Hornbaker farm has been the home to many pets over the years that have become part of the family and friendly with customers, especially children. There has always been a dog in residence, along with multiple cats. In the early days, we even had three geese roaming around. (You always had to look behind you before you bent over!) And longtime customers will remember that we occasionally had a pet raccoon back then. As of 2024, you may see our dog, KC, or the cats, Izzy and Ned.

In May of 2023, Rich Hornbaker married Ann Beneke at a lovely outdoor ceremony at The Barn, surrounded by their family and friends. Ann maintains a house in Des Moines, where her two grandsons live, so Rich and Ann are sometimes in Des Moines, sometimes at the Gardens, sometimes traveling, and occasionally apart, just as they have been doing for the last five years. Rich now describes himself as “mostly retired”, and he is delighted to have Molly and David running the business.

Rich and Ann