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Greenwich Daily Voice serves Greenwich, CT

Scarecrow Bodies Seek Heads and Clothes

The Bridges, who own and run Sam Bridge Nursery & Greenhouses have it all worked out. The business is a family affair but they've divided it up so that everyone has a job – and that includes Tucker Bridge, whose main job is Woofer-in-Chief and Lunchroom Vacuum Cleaner, although he’s also the resident deer chaser and rodent hunter.

Unlike many area nurseries, Sam Bridge in Greenwich grows most of the plants for sale, and that includes all seasonal flowers, such as poinsettias and lilies for the holidays, chrysanthemums for the fall and pansies and petunias for spring plantings. “We grow more than 500,000 annuals, perennials and shrubs in our greenhouses,” says Mary Jo Bridge Palmer, who runs the retail operation.

But this is no ordinary nursery  – every Saturday in October Sam Bridge Nursery becomes a family playground. You can take the kids for a hayride to the pumpkin patch and then try some pumpkin painting. Looking for more? How about building your very own scarecrow?  For $30 you’ll get a scarecrow frame, head, face pieces, hair and hay: you bring the scarecrow’s clothes and accessories. And your imagination.

General manager Sam Bridge III points out that the nursery is busier than ever right now. “Fall is actually a great time for planting – the soil is moist and that allows the roots to get well established before the winter. It’s less stressful for plants to be transplanted right now.”

Ron Bridge, Sam and Mary Jo's brother, runs the nursery, and the next generation is primed and ready to go. Maggie Bridge manages sales and marketing, Nick Bridge keeps the equipment running and Bill Palmer keeps things organized in the premier garden department.

And in case you think this is a family that just works together --  the Bridges are all avid skiers, so if you don't see them among the flower beds, they're probably playing on the slopes.

Sam Bridge Nursery & Greenhouses, 437 North Street, Greenwich.  (203) 869-3418.

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