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Profile for Cox Interactive’s on-line Rhode Island website Garden Guide

Sean Conway

Sean Conway, Proprietor
Conway’s Nursery for Uncommon Plants
3941 Main Road, Route 77
Tiverton, Rhode Island 02878

“Conway has always sought to set himself apart, and has succeeded.”

Sean Conway has parlayed his extraordinary knowledge of plants and his innate sense of elegance and style into one of the country’s premiere nurseries specializing in hard-to-find plants. Conway opened his nursery in the spring of 1995 at its first location, just a hop skip and a jump down the road from Tiverton Four Corners, home of Gray’s Ice Cream and The Provender. After 3 years at this location Conway was able to purchase the site he really wanted which was directly across the road. He transferred the entire nursery lock stock and barrel to the larger and more desirable location on land leading down to the banks of Nonquit Pond with the Borden Brook bordering the south. On the property, which was once owned by well-known nurseryman Lloyde Lawton there was also a wonderful 140-year-old home which Conway has made into his family home. He lives there with his wife, two small children, dogs and a parrot. The many outbuildings on the property, which Conway has since put to use as his office and work space, add to the lush and rustic country atmosphere of the place. After many months of hard work restoring and re-designing the land around the house and outbuildings the nursery now exudes a warm old-world charm mixed with a tremendous flair for the unusual in cutting-edge horticulture - a rare mix in the horticultural world.

“...a featured contributor to Martha Stewart Living...”

Conway has always sought to set himself apart and has succeeded, all the while maintaining many well-established relationships in the world of nurserymen. He grew up in Portsmouth and considers himself a “local-boy” but his world view is expansive. His background in biology formed his first foray into horticulture. But it was his years working in a local Little Compton nursery that furnished him with his solid knowledge of plants and deep love of the more unusual and under-cultivated in the plant world. During these years he built a following of plant enthusiasts who knew Conway to be especially knowledgeable about the plants they sought. It was this growing following that convinced Conway to start his own nursery.

In the years since he started Conway’s Nursery, Conway has experienced outstanding growth and now finds himself in the spotlight both locally and nationally. He was Show Designer for the first five years of the annual Rhode Island Flower Show, the Show Designer and Manager for the acclaimed Newport Flower Show, and he maintains an on-going relationship with Martha Stewart as a repeat guest on her television show and a featured contributor to her magazine, Martha Steward Living. He has also designed a unique product for Stewart’s mail-order catalog. More recently Conway was approached by Target to come on board as Garden Consultant to the trend-setting mass retailer. Target’s push into the more up-scale world of retailing demanded someone with the horticultural knowledge and style that they found in Conway. In this role for Target Conway has traveled extensively both in this country and abroad researching and observing trends, products and ideas to help differentiate Target from other mass retailers. And this, all the while maintaining day-to-day operation of his own nursery. He has a small but knowledgeable staff who assist him in this endeavor thus ensuring the ongoing success of Conway’s Nursery. The work for Target and for his own nursery form a symbiotic relationship which benefits both Target and Conway’s Nursery.

“In the years since he started Conway’s Nursery, Conway has experienced outstanding growth...”

Conway has contributed articles to Horticulture magazine and is also contributing Garden Expert to WRNI, Rhode Island’s National Public Radio station. Conway also lectures extensively on gardening and related topics. His latest venture is a book about container gardens - something for which his nursery has become so well known.

The web site for Conway’s Nursery is currently under construction to better serve his growing clientele. The web site for Target is