Lethbridge gardening centres anticipate another busy year for pandemic hobbyists

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One of the first activities to really blossom at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic last spring was gardening. Almost a year later, Taz Dhaliwal speaks to a few Lethbridge-area gardening centres to find out whether they're expecting to see similar trends this year – Mar 2, 2021

After the COVID-19 pandemic inspired many to dig deeper into the art of gardening in 2020, local stores are anticipating to see the same thing happen this year.

Due to the expected high demand, some gardening centres are already experiencing a delay in receiving inventory.

“There is a supply disruption on certain items like… ceramic pots, that are going to take a little longer to come in,” said Dustin Napper, a horticulturalist with the Green Haven Garden Centre in Lethbridge.

“So, items that are usually here, we’re going to be looking at maybe three to four week delay before they’re here,” he added.

Read more: Lethbridge garden centres experience boom in summer sales amid COVID-19

The Green Haven Garden Centre says despite what some may be hearing, there’s no shortage in seeds, and the centre also has plenty of indoor and outdoor plants in stock.

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The Country Blooms Garden Centre, located in Lethbridge County, has a wide variety of plants available as well, but that’s only because they too planned ahead.

“A lot of us did our ordering way back in August and September of last year to get the availability of spring and summer this year,” said Erich Dyck, the owner of Country Blooms Garden Centre.

“So, you really had to be on the ball and get your orders in early,” he said.

Dyck adds he isn’t surprised to see the love of gardening continue to flourish into this year due to the many benefits it offers, especially as people continue to look for feel-good activities and hobbies to immerse themselves in during the ongoing pandemic.

“Whether (they’re a) first-time, or a seasoned gardener, they’re going to want to look at all the new varieties of things that they can try,” Dyck said.

“They’re going to be excited about doing it and it’s all therapy — mental therapy, physical therapy.”

Read more: Lethbridge-area garden centres slammed with curbside orders

Vegetable gardening in particular is another trend that continues to be all the rage.

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“The idea of knowing where your food comes from is also really trending right now, so growing your own vegetables and using organic fertilizers or those things where you know what’s in your food,” Napper said.

Both gardening centres expect people will have a more relaxed shopping experience this time around and don’t expect to see long line-ups out the door under the current COVID-19 rules — which allow for in-store shopping.

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