After a spring characterized by strange weather, warmer temperatures have brought gardeners outside- and to their local garden stores- around the Granite State.
“We’re slammed right now. After the long winter and the nice weather we have now, people are coming out in droves.”
Charlie Cole is the General Manager at Cole Gardens, a family owned business in Concord. Like many gardeners at this time, Cole is experiencing a rapid uptick in sales.
“Anything in color is moving off the shelves. Our customers are buying flowers and vegetables faster than we can restock them,” says Cole. “Million bells and dahlias are hot right now. So too are tomatoes and basil.”
Murray Farms of Penacook manager David Murray says that they warned their customers of harsh weather earlier this month.
“The full moon was on May, 14th. That generally brings some rough weather. Things were slow in early May, but it’s turned out to be an excellent spring. Things always have a way of averaging out.”
Murray, whose family is celebrating their 50th spring providing goods to the Capital Region, says that all of his plants are flourishing.
“What’s selling best? That’s like walking into Walmart and asking what they sell best. We sell so many things,” he joked. “I’d say we’re perfectly balanced. It’s all about what the customer wants.”
Murray, like Cole, is clearly a busy man. While being interviewed for this story he was simultaneously moving a truck and making a transaction with a customer. “That’s a four pounder,” he shouted over the phone.
When asked whether she was as busy, Martina Howe of Beans and Greens in Gilford replied, “Oh yeah!” Howe says that business always pick up around Memorial Day.
“Local people shop crazy around Memorial Day, while the summer vacationers come around July 4th. This year people love my geraniums and my cascading petunias. I grow an amazing geranium,” says Howe.
Howe says that business is strong right now because of her store’s new signage and quality customer service. “When you come to Beans and Greens it’s a very personal experience. Our customers can come in here and we help them with whatever they need,” she says.
Ara Lynn of Amazing Flower farm in New Ipswich also reports brisk sales.
“Anything in color is selling right now. The cold start to the month has people anxious to plant. Cucumbers, peppers, squash and tomatoes are huge right now.”
Lynn notes that a major reason for these vegetables' popularity is the ease with which they can be planted. Cucumbers and peppers are the ideal plants for novices looking to begin gardening, she says.
From these reports, it's clear that New Hampshire’s gardeners fiend for color. After a harsh start to the season, the Memorial Day craze has buoyed business and left New Hampshire’s gardens and farms in good stead.
“That’ll be twelve dollars please,” says Lynn to another satisfied customer. April showers surely have brought May flowers.