As a bittersweet side effect of the COVID-19 pandemic, people are spending more time in their yards and gardens. They are eager to still tend their gardens, put in vegetable starts, beautify their yards, try new things and enjoy healthy outdoor time.
But they also want to observe social distancing.
To help them, the Oregon Association (OAN) has launched a web page that lists garden retailers in Oregon and Southwest Washington offering “Safer Shopping” services such as advance ordering, curbside pickup, home delivery, special hours and more. It can be found at www.PlantSomethingOregon.com/coronavirus.
“Our local independent garden centers have always been the gardener’s best friend, offering expert advice to help them succeed and have fun in the garden,” said Jim Simnitt of Simnitt Nursery, president of the Oregon Association of Nurseries. “Now these retailers are going the extra mile to help garden lovers take some degree of refuge in their gardening routine.”
“We hope the page will help retailers, too, in addition to gardeners,” said Curt Kipp, OAN director of communications. “The coronavirus pandemic comes at the worst time for them, during the 3-month period when most sales usually take place. Putting gardeners who still want to garden together with retailers who still want to sell is a win-win.”
The “Safer Shopping” list is part of the OAN’s Plant Something Oregon consumer site, which offers regionally relevant gardening tips from experts. As the site explains, gardening has many research-proven benefits for human health, which include:
- Houseplants reduce indoor air pollution
- Plants reduce stress in the workplace
- Plants provide healing powers
- Landscaping boosts property values
- Plants save energy and maintenance costs
And, of course, starts and seeds from your local garden center can provide a food source right at home.
A complete list of the benefits of gardening is provided on the Plant Something Oregon website at www.PlantSomethingOregon.com/pmlb, including citations from research.
“We’re in a health crisis, and most people don’t realize plants provide these health and well-being benefits,” said Dr. Charlie Hall, an expert in horticulture and economics at Texas A&M University.With the customized support of garden retailers, the home gardener can have a better experience. Nurturing loyal customers is critical for the survival of independent garden centers during the economic shock and daily disruptions of the coronavirus pandemic.