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Bayside business has established roots at US Open

Bayside's Keil Bros. Garden Center and Nursery showcases its work at the 2011 US Open in Flushing. Courtesy Keil Bros.
TimesLedger Newspapers

The US Open is televised throughout the country and showcases the world’s best tennis players, but there are still some aspects of the Flushing tournament that remain local.

While onlookers watch the tennis stars showcase their talent at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, Bayside’s own Keil Bros. Garden Center and Nursery keeps an eye on something other than the ball: the landscaping.

“We have been working with the US Open for so many years and it is always a challenge,” said Ronald Keil, co-owner of the 82-year-old Bayside business. “We are very thankful and lucky to have this opportunity to do the planting at such a big event.”

The Keil Bros. Garden Center and Nursery has arranged the scenic grounds work for the US Open for more than 25 years, Keil said, allowing the crew to develop a real rhythm for the routine. With planning and grounds work beginning as early as July, Keil said the three-month process is a huge task to take on with almost 50 acres to beautify.

“It is a unique task. We have been doing this for so many years that we have really gotten to know how to do it,” Keil said. “The secret is to pay close attention to detail towards the latter part of August.”

According to Keil, the vibrant colors of the plant materials become more difficult to maintain as August dwindles, and entire landscaping crews work tirelessly to keep the colors strong for what he referred to as his company’s premier account.

“We try to give off a real ‘wow’ effect,” Keil said. “It is a challenge, but we do our best. It is a labor of love, and we are happy to see some of the work being done so locally.”

From the inside of the US Open to the luxury boxes, Keil said landscaping crews work each year to build on what they deem successes and to perfect what they think could use improvement from previous years. By the end of the event, Keil said, the payoff comes back in the nursery’s reputation and customer relations.

“Our regular customers can’t help but mention it when they realize it’s us out there,” Keil said. “They see us working. We always have to keep it looking at its best.”

The Keil Bros. Garden Center and Nursery, at 210-11 48th Ave. in Bayside, features a “secret garden” nursery, stocked with gardening supplies, trees, shrubs and other decorative plants.

Reach reporter Phil Corso by e-mail at pcorso@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4573.

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