Drought plus pandemic equals unusual year for garden centers

Belmont County

BELMONT COUNTY, Ohio (WTRF) George and Jennifer Lendon just celebrated their eighth year in the floral and garden center business.

But they’ve learned that staying flexible and changing with the conditions is a necessity.

They say, oddly enough, the only thing that hasn’t affected them is the drought.

Their property is fed by underground springs, so water wasn’t the issue.

But a crush of customers in the early spring nearly wiped them out.

“We kept re-ordering from our suppliers,” said George Lendon. “We had tractor-trailers coming in three times, just to keep up with demand.”

Even so, they say their shelves were wiped out far earlier in the season than usual.

Jennifer Lendon said they used the concrete blocks that held their shelves to create raised beds to raise their own flowers for use in their flower shop.

They said people were under stay-at-home orders at the time, and apparently decided to spruce up their properties and even start home gardens.

“You could tell a lot of them were first-time gardeners,” she said.

Now they are clearing the way for fall mums in late August.

They said they were pleased to see so many people focusing on gardening.

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