Garden centre manager Jack Olszewski and Chris Beaudoin say business has grown by 50 per cent at the Sooke Home Hardware Store. (Rick Stiebel - Sooke News Mirror)

Garden centre manager Jack Olszewski and Chris Beaudoin say business has grown by 50 per cent at the Sooke Home Hardware Store. (Rick Stiebel - Sooke News Mirror)

Flower power: COVID restrictions fuel bloom boom on Vancouver Island’

More people seeking flowers to add colour, says Sooke landscaper

A Vancouver Island landscaper believes a blooming boom in business results from people seeking colour as a cure for the COVID blues.

Tina Acosta Delgado, the owner of Elite Garden Maintenance, said she’s never seen anything like it in her 17 years in the business. Her company, which primarily handles residential and commercial properties, is fielding an unprecedented number of requests from people for flowers this year.

“It started in January, and we’re up to 10 to 12 calls a day,” she said. “I keep hearing from people over and over again that they want more colour around their home.”

Acosta Delgado attributes the increase in part to people looking for something to brighten their day during the pandemic.

“I think people are looking for ways to be happy, and seeing colour in their yard makes them happy,” she said. “Most people are asking for specific colours. It seems to me that they’re trying to match their choices to their mood and personality.”

The wholesaler Acosta Delgado deals with said all the wholesalers he speaks with had noticed the increase.

“We used to be (at the wholesaler) once or twice a month,” Acosta Delgado said. “Now we’re in there three times a week.”

Some nurseries are predicting that they may run out of flowers, she said.

Jack Olszewski, manager of the garden Centre at the Sooke Home Hardware Store, said he’d seen an increase of more than 50 per cent in customers so far this year compared to last year.

“A lot of them are buying flowers to plant, and there are a lot of first-time gardeners as well,” he said. “There’s much more interest this year.”

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