Spring industries undergo changes in face of COVID-19
SAINT JOHN, N.B. -- As the weather warms up, a lot of Maritimers long to get outside. But this year, some of the most popular springtime activities are undergoing changes due to COVID-19.
Like countless Maritimers, Jim Landry is anxious to get the gardening season started; this year, more than ever.
“Some of the ground is still frozen, and there’s still stuff popping out of it,” says Landry. “You’ve got to look to that as a symbol of hope.
Landry is with Landscape N.B., a group that represents the province’s landscapers and garden centres, an industry that is now, very much in limbo.
“I’m getting the questions like, do we open this year?” says Landry. “Are we going to have to access to our supply chain? And I can only speculate on those things.”
Closed up garden centres are also looking for answers.
Cedarcrest Gardens in Saint John says springtime is their industry’s ‘Christmas season’.
“Normally our yard, we’d be getting truckloads of trees and shrubs,” says Marina Phillips, manager of Cedarcrest Garden Centre.
Phillips has 7,000 floral baskets to sell this year, and thousands of other plants, but customers will not be allowed inside to pick them out.
So, the garden centre is hoping that on-line shopping, along with pick-up and delivery services will save their season.
“I think people are going to want to get out in their yard. I mean we can’t get away on vacation,” says Phillips.
Garden centres are hoping government will allow them to partially reopen to the public to sell food producing plants and seed.
Some outdoor chores can’t wait. This weekend, golf courses across the Maritimes are taking off their winter tarps, and starting their spring maintenance programs to get ready for an opening day that is up in the air.
In New Brunswick’s state of emergency, golf courses were specifically mentioned as a business that must remain closed, but operators say maintenance work has to continue.
As the weather warms up and the greens get a bit greener, hope springs eternal for gardeners and golfers alike that their season will be salvaged.