Garden centres sowing the seeds of a strange spring

By Gordon Lambie

It’s shaping up to be an unusual spring for garden centres. Having been given leave to reopen by the provincial government the go-to locations for backyard gardeners across the province are now hard at work trying to both stock their shelves and prepare for a retail environment where clients are not allowed to be near one another.
The big change for Chuck Neville and Cathy Brochet of Les Serres Neville in Lennoxville comes not as much at their physical location as online. This year, for the first time, the garden centre will be offering online sales and on-site pickup to help facilitate social distancing measures.
“My understanding is that it is much more complicated for the owners, but we feel like it’s our moral responsibility to keep our clients as safe as possible.” Neville said, sharing that at this point the new online store is about 80 per cent complete. He clarified that the changes left to be made have to do with getting items and photos listed online, and that although none had been made at the time he was speaking with The Record, online sales are already possible at
“It’s going to be way different this year,” Neville added, explaining that the location on Wellington Street South is also going through all of the transitions that people have seen in other retail locations, including the addition of distance markings on the ground, the installation of plexiglas dividers around the cash, and the elimination of indoor space. “In that way we’re pretty well set up,” the owner continued, pointing out that the garden centre is already mainly outdoor space.

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