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Flowers now featured at Rustic Gardens’ shop


KENT – After more than 20 years of business partnership—and being married to each other—Lorie and Troy Brown know how to complement each other’s talents in their business, Rustic Gardens.

Troy and Lorie Brown in the showroom of their business, Rustic Gardens, at 27 Kent Road. In recent months they’ve added fresh flower arrangements and displays to the business. They are standing next to a table designed by Troy. Photo by Lynn Mellis Worthington

Rustic Gardens is known for the hand-crafted cedar railings, benches, live edge tables and furniture, arbors, bridges and garden structures designed by Troy (examples of their work are available online). They also offer garden services and property management.

But a few months ago, Lorie Brown decided she wanted to put her floral arranging and display talents to use in their storefront, which is located at 27 Kent Road (Route 7) in Kent. Troy said that many new customers reported that they were traveling from New York City or Fairfield County and didn’t find any places to buy flowers.

She was all ready for Easter weekend with a variety of flowers and arrangements, but what she wasn’t prepared for was the power to go out and downed trees to prevent customers from reaching the shop.

Inconvenient, but just a blip on the business’ radar. They were very busy over Valentine’s Day and there were many orders for Easter that Lorie was able to create and fill.

“I’ve been a floral designer,” Lorie said. “I do wedding flowers and parties. We were open mostly by appointment, but this winter I opened up and noticed that people needed us. A lot of people wanted some flowers.”

During the winter months, she sources her flowers from the wholesale market in New York City. In the summer she grows her own.

Some of the flowers and plants that Lorie Brown has on display at Rustic Gardens. Photo by Lynn Mellis Worthington

“We try to do local as much as we can,” she said. She really enjoys using large pots and filling them with assorted plants that work well as planters on decks and docks.

Rustic Gardens moved into its building about two years ago. Troy has a workshop in the back of the first floor of the building and he’s appreciates having somewhere where he can work out of the elements.

“It is nice to have a place to display my work,” Troy said. “With the help of the internet, we’ve got a lot of work.”

A lot of the jobs he completes are done onsite and they have a steady building crew of about three people, including their 22-year-old son, Ty, and another friend. They also have a crew of gardeners. During spring, summer and fall the crews expand.

“We enjoy our days because we have good people around us,” Lorie said.

“It makes it a lot of fun,” Troy added.

Lorie previously had a flower shop in Brookfield and Troy’s work grew out of that. He made the arbor they were married under, and she displayed it in the front of her shop.

Some of the peeled cedar that Troy Brown uses in his designs. Photo by Lynn Mellis Worthington

“My flower customers kept on coming in and wanting his work,” she said. “He got really busy doing fences and pergolas. If you go around Candlewood Lake or Lake Waramaug, you’ll see his work all over the place.” They’ve been lucky to get virtually all of their jobs from word-of-mouth.

Lorie Brown grew up in Kent and attended Kent Center School and they’ve lived in the area for years.

Their shop hours are Wednesdays through Sundays, noon to 5 p.m.

Lynn Worthington
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