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Garden centers see an influx in purchases during the pandemic

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ROCKFORD (WREX) — Garden centers have been opened with restrictions since May 1. While some businesses face financial hardships during the COVID-19 pandemic, local green houses and flower shops are flourishing.

It's not just plants that are growing at local garden centers.

"We've never sold so many house plants before," said Hagemann Horticulture Owner Tyler Hagemann.

Business is booming for Pepper Creek due to more families at home during the COVID-19 crisis.

"This time of the year, they are talking about how they are still getting their yards picked up so they can get ready to go. This year, they already got them cleaned up and they're looking for other things to do," said Pepper Creek Co-Owner Vicki Hubbard.

Pepper Creek in Rockford says families that are stuck at home are using the time to beautify their yards. While it still has a large selection, items have been picked through as if it was in the middle of summer.

"We planted pretty much everything and the surprising thing is we are selling things that we would usually sell in a week or 10 days. We are already selling them to people," said Hubbard.

Vegetable plants are nearly sold out at Merlin's Green House and Flowers in Oregon. Something the owners say could be because families are wanting their own food source.

"Their kids weren't at school and so they were at home and so what better way to teach your kids than to produce your own fruit and veggies and get the concept of gardening," said Hagemann.

It's not just herbs and vegetables that are almost out of stock, Merlin's started off with nearly 1,500 hanging plants and now it's down to about 150.

"I think people just need to get out and do something. They have been locked up for too long and this is the first option to get out to our garden centers," said Hagemann.

Bringing new life into the home and waiting for better times to grow.

The gift shops at both Pepper Creek in Rockford and Merlin's Green House and Flowers in Oregon are set to open on Friday.

Cassandra Bretl

Multimedia Journalist
Cassandra is the morning reporter for 13 News Today.
She joined the WREX team in July of 2019 after graduating from the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee with a major, minor and a certificate.
She is excited to bring her skills back to the 815 where she is originally from.
You can contact Cassandra at

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