As the days get longer and the sun shines a little brighter, the ground thaws from the long, cold winter, leaving gardeners around the region anxiously waiting to get their hands in some dirt.
Last year, amid the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, people reconnect with nature and their own backyards, bringing about a resurgence in at-home growers and local garden centers struggled to keep up with demand. And the outlook for 2021 isn’t much different.
“We’re stocking up as much as we can, but we just can’t seem to keep up,” said Abby Broderick, owner of House By The Side of The Road in Wilton. “It has not stopped since last March.”
Broderick said she is fortunate to have good suppliers, but in many instances, they can’t keep up with the increase in orders. “If I need anything now, forget it,” she said. “Usually everything is on backorder. So what you get is what you get.” And because of that Broderick has been planning even further into the future than normal, having already placed her orders for fall bulbs. “It’s been a domino effect,” she said.
Bonnie Coll Cutter of Coll’s Garden Center and Florist called the last year bizarre and crazy. “Finding product is a very hard thing,” Cutter said. “And we don’t know until it comes in if it’s been substituted or what we actually ordered.”
She points to the fact that COVID-19 restrictions forced people to seek alternative recreation and it appears that gardening was the preferred choice of many. “Everyone wants their own orchard in their backyard and grocery store in their garden,” Cutter said.
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