Customers converged on local garden centers this weekend, drawn by the sunny weather and the desire to keep busy after weeks of staying home.
“It's been good. Everybody’s just been very patient and a lot of new gardeners, so we're here to help them,” said Jon Manke, owner of Tower Farms of Cheshire.
Extra staff was on hand Sunday to guide customers browsing the rows of flowers and herbs or to tend to the checkout line stretching out the door. Staff said once they saw the sunny weekend forecast they knew there were would be rush.
For those quarantining or working from home, Manke said potting plants on windowsills can break up the monotony and improve the surroundings.
Local resident Laura Schuster visited Geremia Farms in Wallingford. She’s been trying to avoid stores, but finds planting flowers in her yard is therapeutic.
“I like being outdoors and kind of designing the flowers in the pots,” she said.
John Cushman, a worker at Geremia, said staff made the farm as safe as possible by reducing the number of flower tables and widening the aisles. Two customers at a time were allowed in the individual greenhouses and the interior parts of the farm store were closed. Curbside pickup is also available.
With precautions in place, Cushman feels many customers are more comfortable about shopping at a smaller business.
“It’s been nonstop. It’s been unbelievable with everyone coming out to us,” he said.
Norwalk resident Kathy Marsh said she dislikes wearing a mask but was excited to get her spring flowers.
“It’s therapeutic and it makes you feel good,” she said.