After graduating from Sam Houston State University, John and Marilyn Thomas were married and embarked on their adventures together. John started working with his father, helping grow rice and raise cattle for seven years on the ranch in Eagle Lake, Texas.
Using what he learned from these years at Eagle Lake, John moved on to start a business called American Hydro-Grass in Houston, Texas. Various landscaping companies used the hydro grass in their own businesses, but they couldn’t find wildflower seeds. With the knowledge gained from farming, John began to plant wildflowers at the Eagle Lake property beginning in 1981.
Wildseed Farms officially started at Eagle Lake in 1982. John continued to plant wildflowers, and this in turn drew curious people to view the flowers in their glory. As roads were packed with more and more cars over the years, it became obvious this was an attraction that could draw a crowd. In 1989 the decision was made to open the production fields to the public.
People began to flock from Houston and the surrounding areas to look at the fields of flowers. A hay barn was renovated, and Marilyn put her business savvy into starting a gift shop. The business quickly outgrew its humble origins. John and Marilyn knew they needed to expand and began searching for the perfect spot.
In 1993, Wildseed Farms bought approximately 217 acres near Fredericksburg, Texas increasing the companies farming land to over 600 acres. Starting in tents on the newly purchased farm, Marilyn’s gift shop was a continued success. Quickly realizing they needed more space Wildseed Farms began construction of the iconic Market Center in 1995. The retail store continues to be one of the most unique stops in the Fredericksburg area with a wide selection of home décor, ladies’ apparel, jewelry, and seeds. A true shopping experience worth sharing!!