ASHLAND -- With the spring weather ripening, outdoor projects naturally punctuate a person's to-do list. It's exasperating to be cooped-up indoors, so many are ready to tackle any commendable alfresco objective.
Unfortunately, mankind wasn't blessed with the ability to manifest the materials to accomplish these duties. Consequently, we take out creative desires to the nearest gardening center and fill a cart (or two) with everything we need to enhance the plot of land we inhabit.
Throughout the nation's shutdown, local garden centers have been deemed essential and have continued operation. As the mild winter left us, business at the garden centers has picked up heavily.
And more than usual.
Rinda Sloan, co-owner of Richardson's Greenhouse & Landscaping Inc. in Loudonville, explained her gardening center has been consistently busy since Ohio's quarantine period had begun.
“We are usually stocked with vegetables through the end of May and we are running out," Sloan said. "It has been busier this year.
"People are staying home and fixing up their houses."
Sloan also noted that customers began exponentially increasing around the time the state shutdown commenced and has not lessened. Richardson's has also already sold out of hanging baskets far earlier than in previous years.
During these bustling times, Richardson's has been rigorously working to maintain the health and safety of their customers and personnel. They have been following social distancing guidelines by wearing masks and continuously sanitizing carts and other frequently touched surfaces.
"People feel it's really safe in here because it's so open," Sloan said.
Green Valley Growers has also experienced a busier April and May than usual. They too have been following social distancing protocol.
The Ashland garden center set up an alternative entrance to decrease the risk of contamination.
Green Valley Growers has been spending the time during quarantine giving back to the community. They provided the pink wave petunias that grace the downtown sidewalks in a multitude of hanging baskets and planters.
Richardson's Garden Center is located at 8471 Township Road 459 in Loudonville and is open seven days a week. Green Valley Growers is also all week long as is based at 732 County Road 1775 in Ashland.