Our Roots

the garden center 1960

Our Garden Center in 1960.

In 1960, Alexander Kennedy lived on Cedar Acres Road in Marshfield.  A roadside nursery on Rt. 3A in Scituate came up for sale.  At the same time, Alexander’s grandson, Bob Kennedy, was in his last year of horticultural study at The Stockbridge School of Agriculture at the University of Massachusetts.  Alexander Kennedy saw this as an opportunity with great potential for his grandson, Bob.  And so it began.
At that time, 50 years ago, there sat one small building, heated by a pot bellied stove, which is now our gift shop area, and a 20’ x 20’ seasonal garden center.  The former proprietor was a grower of perennials, trees, and shrubs, selling his plants directly from the field.  With youthful enthusiasm and the love of plants and gardening, Bob began expanding the scope of the business and took on lawn maintenance customers to keep the business going during his early years.  Kennedy’s Country Gardens began growing right along with Scituate and the rest of the South Shore.
Bob Kennedy in the greenhouse 1968

Bob Kennedy in the greenhouse 1968

The addition of the first greenhouse came several years later.  Bob found a wood, metal and glass greenhouse in New Hampshire.  He had it dismantled and shipped to Scituate where it was re-assembled.  It still stands today and we aptly refer to it as "Greenhouse #1." In the early 70’s, the Kennedy’s landscape design and construction department began operating.  At that time, Bob did all the landscape design and was his own foreman on the installations.  As the area grew, Kennedy’s was growing and beautifying homes and businesses all over the South Shore and Cape Cod.
Retail Store in 70s

Retail Store in the 1970s

It was also in the early 70’s that the now famous Paul Parent came to work seasonally at Kennedy’s while he was completing his education at the Stockbridge School.  Upon graduation, Paul came on full time with Bob and grew with Kennedy’s for 18 years.  Paul started his local (now national) garden radio show on Sundays while working at Kennedy’s.  During Paul’s time at Kennedy’s, Matt Sheehan came on board and was on the staff for over 30 years. During the 1970's and 1980's Kennedy’s saw further expansion of the garden center and the addition of several more greenhouses. In 1994, the next generation of the Kennedy's family arrived on the scene.  Christopher Kennedy, Bob's son, assumed a full-time position after graduating from Penn State University with his degree in Landscape Contracting and Horticulture. The result of Bob’s dream and 50 years of hard work from the many staff members who have helped to grow Kennedy’s over the years is what you see today when you visit Kennedy’s Country Gardens. Many thanks to all of our loyal customers for your past and continuing support of our business.  It is the goal of Kennedy’s Country Gardens to remain the finest full-service garden center South of Boston. Below are some of the photos from our history.  Click on photos to see them enlarged!