Prospects for garden centers uncertain with people out of work


Workers at New Hampshire garden centers and nurseries don’t know what to expect as they enter what’s usually their busiest time of year.>> Download the FREE WMUR app At Countrybrook Farms in Hudson, eight acres are full of flowers, trees and mulch. Owner Jay Shattuck said 50 percent of his business is done in April, May and June, meaning the timing of the COVID-19 pandemic couldn’t be worse.”I call it a big produce stand,” Shattuck said. “We have to care for it. We have to merchandise it properly. That keeps me up, anyway. The fact that we don’t know if we will be able to sell the stuff that’s here the way we normally would, that’s stressful.”He said business could boom because people living under the stay-at-home order could have more time and desire to spruce up their yards. He’s taking precautions, such as closing the inside part of the business.”We really encourage people to shop online with us or call on the phone,” he said. “We will do curbside setups for them.”How the virus will affect the business is a big unknown. He said he relies heavily on big commercial projects, which might be a problem.”If people aren’t working, are they going to be sprucing up their backyard to the level they would if they were working?” he said. “That remains to be seen.”As the weather gets warmer and sunnier, Shattuck said he expects to have his answer soon.

Workers at New Hampshire garden centers and nurseries don’t know what to expect as they enter what’s usually their busiest time of year.

>> Download the FREE WMUR app

At Countrybrook Farms in Hudson, eight acres are full of flowers, trees and mulch. Owner Jay Shattuck said 50 percent of his business is done in April, May and June, meaning the timing of the COVID-19 pandemic couldn’t be worse.

“I call it a big produce stand,” Shattuck said. “We have to care for it. We have to merchandise it properly. That keeps me up, anyway. The fact that we don’t know if we will be able to sell the stuff that’s here the way we normally would, that’s stressful.”

He said business could boom because people living under the stay-at-home order could have more time and desire to spruce up their yards. He’s taking precautions, such as closing the inside part of the business.

“We really encourage people to shop online with us or call on the phone,” he said. “We will do curbside setups for them.”

How the virus will affect the business is a big unknown. He said he relies heavily on big commercial projects, which might be a problem.

“If people aren’t working, are they going to be sprucing up their backyard to the level they would if they were working?” he said. “That remains to be seen.”

As the weather gets warmer and sunnier, Shattuck said he expects to have his answer soon.

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