Okanagan residents turning attention to their gardens

Pandemic planting

Madison Erhardt

After a week of temperatures in the 20s, coinciding with an increase in COVID-19 cases across the region, many are turning their attention to gardening.

Bylands was busy Sunday afternoon with many eager to pick up green goodies.

"Out here to get tomatoes and a few shrubs," one resident said.

The popularity of gardening exploded at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Horticultural consultant Ken Salvail says he is seeing another jump in demand this spring.

“It has been super busy and everybody is at home and they are taking care of their yards and they are using this opportunity to get caught up on things and it is getting people back into the garden,” he said.

Salvail adds the newer compact plants have been the most popular.

“The new varieties are blooming earlier and for longer periods of time and many of them stay nice and short and compact. The echinacea has been one of the best. And they are just starting to come into the garden centres now. They have solved the mystery of how these plants cross-pollinate and now they are able to produce Echinacea’s in a whole wide scope of colours," he said.

Because of last years growth in popularity, Salvail says centres have stocked up on everything to make sure they don’t run out of any particular item.

“There are definitely some things starting to sell out, but I think that what happened the last year is everything sold out right away. The industry wasn’t prepared for the COVID thing and now we are more prepared so a lot of the garden centres are really stocking up."

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