The novel coronavirus hasn't stopped Decorah's community members, armed with their green thumbs, from enjoying the local garden centers.
Ladybug Landscapes & Decorah Floral, Pinter's Gardens & Pumpkins, and Henzler's Garden Shop have been keeping busy as people in Decorah begin their annual traditions of buying, planting, and growing. With the warmer, sunnier days, May is typically when the centers start ramping up sales. As we roll along with coronavirus into this May, owners have yet to see a negative impact from the pandemic.
At Ladybug, Anita Weis says, "It is still down season, so it truly hasn't had a big impact yet." Up until now, her center has had about the same number of phone-in orders and deliveries as previous years for this time of year.
Elisa Pinter from Pinter's comments, "We had no sales at all until the last couple of weeks when the weather got nice. People are ready to get out of the house!"
Down Highway 9 at Henzler's, Wayne White reports that they've had an increase in sales of edible garden seeds and plants. "People are paranoid about food, so we are overwhelmed with food demands, like potatoes. Our food seeds are in constant demand. We have the advantage of being in the agriculture business, and we are here and happy to help."
Each center predicts a probable increase in sales as summer inches closer. With many events in Decorah being cancelled and with many families staying home more regularly than normal, gardening can be therapeutic and rewarding. White comments, "You can't go to the park, can't go to the swimming pool, etc., so gardening is on the top of family lists. It's a great activity."
Weis agrees, saying, "People are more aware of their homes instead of being constantly on the run. It's a good way to comfort ourselves by playing in the dirt."
If you're ready to "play in the dirt," be assured that each center is taking customers' well being into consideration. Extra steps are being taken to make sure shoppers feel safe. Pinter says, "We have signage that encourages social distancing, and we are continuously sanitizing door handles, carts, counters, etc. We have Plexiglass shields in front of the cash registers. Our employees all have masks. If necessary, we can limit the number of people in the greenhouse at one time."
At Ladybug and Henzler's, doors are wide open, circulating the fresh air. At all three locations, the garden centers cover lots of area, and shoppers are able to browse while practicing safe physical distancing.
Pinter, Weis, and White each emphasize their commitment to helping their customers and making the best of this current situation. According to Pinter, "We are here to serve—just call and ask." Weis says, "All the inventory is here, and we are ready!" White echoes this, saying, "We're very happy to be able to meet the needs of what people are looking for."
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