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Landscaping Design Firm Comes 'Home'

Groundworks Landscaping @ Hrens brings new life to former Jos. A. Hren Nurseries in East Hampton.

Local landscape designers are returning to their roots.

Kim Hren, Linda Silich, and Andy Silich, Linda's husband, haved moved their design landscape firm to a nursery that has been in Hren's family for 70 years.

They are also expanding their current business to include a garden center at the newly named Groundworks Landscaping @ Hrens at 530 Montauk Hwy., on the western border of Amagansett. While they are growing their already established firm, they are also preserving a part of the town's history.

"It's been really hard for me driving by, seeing it sitting here, not as pretty a it was when my father had it," Hren said. She practically grew up at the nursery. "This is where I got off the school bus. It's in my blood."

Her grandfather opened his business in 1939. The original building is still there, under the sign, "Jos. A. Hren Nurseries." Her parents Joe and Charlene Hren took it over around 1960, she said. The nursery closed about a year and a half ago, although they have continued to do some small business there.

The property, which has been up for sale, is also before the East Hampton Town Planning Board for a subdivision. Hren said plans for residential houses behind the garden center are still moving forward (access for the houses, if approved, would be off Eileen's Path).

The garden center will remain, with Hren and the Siliches bringing the property new life. "I walk around here and remember what it was," Hren said, recalling the haunted Halloween rides and Christmas open houses her family organized for the community. "We hope to bring some of that back and also add to it with our own traditions," she said.

Groundworks Landscaping Inc. was established 11 years ago. They worked out of an office on Toilsome Lane in East Hampton Village, and their plantings, which they are in the process of moving, are located in Sagaponack. "We started out in my basement, in a small little room — to move to Montauk Highway is pretty intense," Linda Silich said.

They always wished they could buy the property. This fall "the opportunity just kind of arose," she said. They are excited about the undertaking. Retail was not a component of their business in the past.

They have plans for a "new garden center and outdoor living center," which will offer a variety of items, from outdoor furniture, fire pits, outdoor kitchens — alternatives to their custom-designs — to supplies for the trade and do-it-yourselfers.

While Groundworks' offices have moved to the property, they aren't open to the public, yet. They are focused right now on repainting and rejuvenating the property. They are hoping to open by the spring. "In our business, spring is huge."

Are you happy to see Groundworks Landscaping @ Hrens set up at the former Jos. A. Hren Nurseries? Tell us in the comments below.

carla gagliotti January 27, 2013 at 07:47 PM
So happy and I too hope they do the Halloween ride!!!!! Loved it!!!!
Susan Disunno January 27, 2013 at 10:18 PM
Boy the memories I had working at Hrens were absolutely wonderful. Every season was fantastic. I have missed it so much. I just can't wait for the big opening! Congratulations to all of you. I wish you nothing but the best!!!!! It's going to be amazing! :D Susan Disunno
SANDRA VORPAHL January 29, 2013 at 12:33 AM
Congratulations to you all, you deserve it.
Kathy Egan February 03, 2013 at 01:22 PM
Way to go Kimmer!!! Good luck to you all!! Love, Gram
Linda Silich February 03, 2013 at 10:00 PM
Thanks to all of your wonderful, positive heartfelt comments! We are making progress!!! And so look forward to bringing the community a place to enjoy. All our best, GROUNDWORKS @ Hrens 530 Montauk Highway East Hampton NY 11937 Linda Silich Kim Hren Andy (Andrija) Silich Cheers!

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