A local nursery had noted a rise in business since the coronavirus outbreak.
It got to the point recently that vegetable plants such as tomatoes, cucumbers, squash and more had sold out.
But today, management is closing the doors.
“We’re closing the shop on Wednesday,” Green Gate Garden Center owner Elise Tocquigny said on Tuesday. “The inside is rather small and we feel like it’s best if the public not be in closed doors, even though we are an open-air facility.”
The business hoped to serve it's customers through curbside, but instead decided to close its doors temporarily.
The nursery on South State Highway 123 will accept credit cards and debit cards only while it is are closed, “for at least two weeks,” Tocquigny said.
“I’m making this decision because we are a destination point, people come from all over Texas to our place,” she said. “I’m super appreciative of that and flattered, but that’s really a good way to spread this disease.”
Prior to closing today, the nursery sold out of most vegetable plants, as people apparently looked to start their own vegetable gardens.
Kay Beauchamp, a cashier at the nursery, said the run on vegetables meant that the nursery had to go to other nurseries to restock the supply.
The nursery was very busy over the last two weeks, selling not only the growing plants, but seed to get the plants started.
“It’s been pretty busy, people were coming in and buying up the plants, and lots and lots of bulk seed and package seed,” Beauchamp said. “It hasn’t been so much flower seeds, but mostly vegetable garden stuff.
“We’re getting calls all the time for potatoes, onion and garlic, but that’s all the stuff we get in the fall.”
Winter seed has been a big seller too, “because I assume people are wanting to get a jump start,” she said.
Beauchamp estimated that the nursery had sold “thousands” of vegetable plants this spring.
“It’s huge, much larger than normal,” she said. “We’re doing a massive amount of sales — it’s been pretty impressive.”
While the vegetable plants have been selling, some customers are coming in and buying flowers, trees, etc., because they have free time to work on their gardens.
“I call it ‘quarantine garden,’” Beauchamp said. “A lot of people are not able to go to work and they’re bored. They want to do something with their house — they have the time to work on their landscapes. They’re learning about new plants, they’re seeing stuff up here because they have time to browse.”
Customers will have to wait at least a couple of weeks to roam the nursery, but Tocquigny is hopeful that most who wanted to get their vegetable gardens started have already done so.
“Vegetable gardening has about hit it’s peak,“ she said. “If you haven’t gotten your garden planted, it’s getting a little late.”