1971: Brookside Estate, Westchester County, New York
While attending college, Bill worked part-time as a Greenhouse Assistant on the estate owned by Jean Flagler Matthews. Although graduating with a degree in marketing, he soon realized his passion was in horticulture, particularly growing.
As a Greenhouse Assistant, Bill trained under noted Scottish horticulturalists James Jack, Ian MacDougal and Archibald McNamara.
1975-1979: Winning the Gold
Bill was promoted to Greenhouse Foreman where he was responsible for 6,000 square feet of greenhouse and acres of cold frames, fruit trees, vegetable and cutting gardens. He had to meet all the flower and plant requirements for the 100 acre estate as well as several vacation homes around the country.
Brookside Estate competed in the New York Flower Show. During Bill’s four year tenure, the estate was awarded 7 gold medals for horticultural excellence.
3 – Carnations; 1 – Cyclamen; 1 – Freesia; 1 – Poinsettia; 1 – Primula maladcoides
The medals are on display at The Henry Morrison Flagler Museum, Palm Beach, Florida. Other awards include gold medal certificates, silver medals, silver medal certificates, and blue ribbons.
1979-1981: The End of an Era
Promoted to assistant superintendent shortly before the passing of the estate owner. Although all grounds and greenhouse activities were halted, Bill and Marie were invited to stay on as “house sitters” in the main house until the estate was fully settled, approximately 18 months later.
1980-2007: A New Beginning
Bill began a new career in sales. He hit the road selling flower bulbs and plants to large private estates. With his background in growing and estate care, he easily gained trust and respect from the superintendents and groundskeepers throughout the northeast. While Bill provided excellent service and bulbs to his customers, he continued to broaden his knowledge base.
Bill made many trips to Holland for the bulb company. He interfaced with the bulb growers and exporters, always on the lookout for new varieties.
As resident horticulturist, Bill was responsible for the quality control of all bulbs imported. He also managed the warehouse, the 50 plus seasonal employees and the whole shipping process.
Bill was vital to the growth of the now prestigious mail-order company based in Litchfield, CT. In 2007, after 27 years, Bill left the bulb company to devote all of his energy and resources into our own companies.
1986 to Present: Stillbrook
As Bill traveled to the various estates, he realized there was a need for hard goods. We started our own company, Stillbrook Horticultural Supplies, Inc. This company provides our customers with horticultural tools and supplies.
In 1996, we began publishing our own mail-order catalog for garden tools and supplies. While this was interesting and challenging, our passion was not in mail-order. Bill much preferred working with customers on a more personal level. We discontinued the catalog in 2003.
2004: Martha Stewart Living
2005: Kennedy Horticultural
We formed Kennedy Horticultural LLC to meet all of our customer’s needs.