Interest in gardening has grown in Calgary since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic and business owners and customers alike are feeling the impact of its increasing popularity.

At Calgary’s Bow Point Nursery, co-owner Jason Simon said they’ve experienced a significant increase in business in comparison to years past, selling around $30,000 worth of trees and plants in just a single four-day period in the month of May. In a normal year, they would likely sell about $10,000 worth of product in the weeks following their opening. 

Simon thinks that gardening is becoming more popular because being at home has forced many to spend a lot of time in their backyards, which has led to an increasing desire to improve or change those yards. 

“We’ve had quite a lot of new customers and very, very green people that have never gardened in their life before that come out here,” he said. 

Micki Chong, a first-time Bow Point customer, has definitely noticed more shoppers as she’s been gathering supplies for the season. 

“I think [gardening has] just exponentially grown this year,” she said. “It’s kind of amazing.”

But so far the increased popularity has led to only one shortage that impacted Chong and her gardening plans. 

“We couldn’t find any onions to plant,” she said. 

Erin Matheson is one Calgarian who has considered trying her hand at gardening since the pandemic began. 

“I am in a condo… so I can’t garden per se but I am considering doing some outdoor plants on my patio which by condo standards, I think, is pretty big stuff.”

Matheson is already the owner of some indoor plants, ones she purchased prior to the beginning of the pandemic, but admits that the change in circumstances hasn’t stopped her or her friends from buying more plants. 

“Some Twitter friends and I were joking how, as things started to slow down and we’re stuck at home but some retailers are open, a lot of us have been out plant shopping lately.” 

And she’s noticed others have been doing the same. 

“Now that the garden centres are open since it’s warmed up, they are packed to the brim anytime I go by,” she said. 

Matheson thinks that being home more is making people more aware of their space and what they include in it and that incorporating some greenery is likely helping some with their mental health. 

“As goofy as it sounds, it’s nice to have some other alive things and something fresh in your home.” 

Photo: Neslihan Gunaydin/unsplash.com