Kent Greenhouse & Gardens

Kent Greenhouse, 30 South Main Street, Kent CT 06757

Call the Garden Center at: (860) 787-5063
For all other enquiries call: (860) 480-0091



Our Family

When Debby and Bruce Bennett opened their florist in Kent in 1973, they had high hopes and enthusiasm to build a sustainable green business that could support their young family. A tiny greenhouse, unheated building and an antique caboose were the foundations for this now thriving company.

Time, hard work and more hard work saw the business expand as they became recognized for good value, quality plants and a source for inspirational landscape design.

2013 sees the 40th celebration for Kent Greenhouse and both Debby and Bruce are still leading the way in the Garden Center and as the Principle for design.

Many staff members have worked side by side with them for more than a decade, including designers, garden center and landscape crew staff.

The following people are your primary contacts for whichever service we can help you with.

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    Bruce Bennett – Design Principle

    Starting this business 40 years ago, Bruce has practiced Landscape Design his whole career. His knowledge of plant material is only surpassed by his visionary design and instinctive understanding of property dynamics. Bruce, a licensed arborist, personally selects all of the specimen plants for the nursery and loves finding new plants to broaden our palette.

    Serving on multiple industry councils, Bruce supports many horticultural and agricultural programs in the area.

    Known for his incredible problem solving energy, there is nothing too challenging or intricate that 40 years of “can do” attitude can’t solve. It may, at times drive his staff crazy, but the end result is always outstanding.

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    Debby Bennett – Vice President

    Debby loves plants! Herbaceous plants are perhaps her greatest strength…but she loves them all!  This passion for horticulture has made her one of the resident ‘plant doctors’ at Kent Greenhouse.

    Her creative side is constantly in motion designing gardens, plants and floral creations with her hallmark blend of woodsy, natural elements.

    As co-owner of the business she wears many hats, but reserves enough time to be an active participant in her dual communities of Cornwall and Kent. Organic gardening, stewardship and preservation are moral guidelines for Debby that she loves to discuss with others and apply through her work with wetland protection, land use committees and energy conservation groups.

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    Nick Russo – Nursery & Garden Center Manager

    Nick’s Horticultural Degree from NVCC college, confirmed in him a love of all things flora and fauna. He further studied in Hawaii, at UH Manoa but we were able to lure him back and he has spent more than 15 yrs with Kent Greenhouse. As the other resident ‘doctor’, Nick is a plant material database! He loves nature (and chocolate) and is easily swayed by either.

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    Darrell Cherniske – Landscape Design & Project Manager

    Based on a childhood spent enjoying the mysteries of forest and farm, Darrell
    embarked upon a study of landscape architecture at Cornell University.
    After graduation in 1992, he eagerly sought employment and experience with a firm that was not only designing innovative landscapes, but also installing them.  Darrell found the design-build niche that he sought with Kent Greenhouse.  He has been with us for twenty years now.  While a “country formal” aesthetic has traditionally best
    encapsulated his tastes and approach to design, some of his most rewarding projects have had contemporary themes and elements.

    Darrell appreciates the holistic benefits of sustainable design while still unlocking the full potential of a site for client use and enjoyment.  He is comfortable working with all the construction trades that might be required to fulfill a design vision in a practical and successful manner.

    He resides in North Kent with his wife Melissa and son Aiden…along with their dog and chickens.  He is a member of the Kent Planning and Zoning Commission and enjoys contributing to other land use and preservation efforts.

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    Stephanie Barlow – Landscape Design & Project Manager

    Stephanie has been with Kent Greenhouse for over 25 years. She started in the Garden Center at 14yrs old, progressed to the landscape department as a Foreman, and has been designing and project managing for the last 12yrs. Stephanie is a state licensed Arborist and has many accreditations and certifications from local and national industry organizations. She has always been a strong advocate for her clients, many of whom have continued developing their properties with her help, over multiple years.

    The strongest of team players, Steph’s tireless energy, wit and humor endear her to her clients and co-workers alike.

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    Richard Crouch – Construction Manager

    Richard blends his Civil Engineering background and 14yrs with Kent Greenhouse together to produce design solutions that fulfill both the technical and aesthetic aspects of a Clients plan. As the Construction Manager, he is behind the scenes of every project, supporting the design staff, ensuring that we deliver only the highest professional standards that our clients expect.

    This important role needs someone who thinks and listens in equal parts. His approachable nature, great problem-solving ability and dependability, all metered with a wicked British sense of humor, have led Richard to share in the responsibility of caring for the whole company.

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    Alicja Gibson – Garden Center Sales and Design

    Alicja blends interior with exterior, color with texture and warmth with coolness to provide assistance in choosing plant material, plant decoration and fashionable items of beauty for every area of your home and garden. Alicja will help you with placement, grouping, seasonal color or texture and aesthetic value of each plant and tree variety to ensure you achieve your goals with ease and intelligent choices.  Don’t let her artistic nature fool you; Alicja is a deep study in horticultural lore and legend.

  • Audrey King – Garden Center Sales and Design

    Melding horticultural education and experience, with instinctive design acumen, Audrey brings knowledge and a relaxed precision to the Garden Center. Having owned businesses of both a design and service nature, she offers customers the benefit of hard earned understanding to provide advice, guidance and insight for plant material choice and classic home style design.

    If knowledge is power, Audrey is the Queen, and we are thrilled that she is part of our 2013 team and future.

  • Melanie Forstmann – Garden Center Sales and Design

    With smiling eyes and a personality to match, Melanie adds her years of design experience and horticultural knowledge to the Garden Center team. Well versed in a depth of product, she also has an eye for the sophisticated garden.