about us

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.

2017 sees the 45th celebration for Kent Greenhouse and both Debby and Bruce are still leading the way in the Garden Center and as the Principle for design.

our staff

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.

bruce bennett
design principle

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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.

debby bennett
vice president

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Debby’s passion for horticulture has made her one of the resident ‘plant doctors’ at Kent Greenhouse. Herbaceous plants are perhaps her greatest strength…but she loves them all! As co-owner of the business she wears many hats, organic gardener, stewardship and preservation are moral guidelines for Debby.

nick russo
nursery & garden center manager

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Nick’s Horticultural Degree confirmed in him a love of all things flora and fauna. He further studied in Hawaii 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.

darrell cherniske
landscape design & project manager

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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. 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 has been with us for twenty years now.

stephanie barlow
landscape design & project manager

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Stephanie started in the Garden Center and 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. A real team player, Steph’s tireless energy her wit and humor endear her to her clients.

richard crouch
construction manager

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

alicja gibson
garden center sales & design

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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 & design

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Audrey melds her horticultural education and experience, with instinctive design acumen, and she 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.

melanie forstmann
garden center sales & design

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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.

We are proud to be celebrating 45 years of business and we thank you for your support.