• About Us

A Brief History

Martin and Marie Van Hof emigrated from Holland in the teens. After working in Ohio and Long Island Martin and Marie came to Middletown to work at Rhode Island Nurseries. We all remember the extensive greenhouses full of tiny starter plants by the tens of thousands.

After WW2 Martin and Marie’s 3 sons began Van Hof Nurseries and while Klaas and Everett worked for Case Hoogendoorn, Bob worked as the only employee of the nursery. When the business had grown large enough, Klaas and then Everett joined Bob at the nursery at Bristol Ferry Road.

The nursery grew and employed many high school students, over the years including all of their sons at one time or another.

Island Garden Shop began in 1965 with Klaas (with much support from Everett and Bob). Martin, Peter, Dave and Tom began full time in the late 60’s. Martin and Dave worked with their dad at the Garden Center. Eventually, Dave came to help Pete and Tom at the Nursery.

Changing conditions have led to re-orienting our business and concentrating more on both the garden center and landscaping.

We still grow much of what we sell which gives us the ability to offer what we feel our customers want.

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I've been known to visit the Island Garden Shop just for the therapeutic effects of the lush greenhouse. Seriously, it's like a jungle oasis where all of your worries and stresses just melt away.

Portsmouth, RI