Rhode Island garden centers ‘thrilled’ to reopen

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JOHNSTON, R.I. (WPRI) — Those with a green thumb may be happy to hear that as of this week, garden centers in Rhode Island have been able to reopen for business.

Connie Jacavone, co-owner of Jacavone’s Garden Center in Johnston, said they’re thrilled since it comes just in time for their prime gardening season in May and June.

“The coronavirus can stop a lot, but it can’t stop spring,” she said. “People were getting very anxious to get the season going.”

Gov. Gina Raimondo made the announcement during her daily briefing 10 days ago.

Jacovone’s has been offering curbside pickups but now, with customers allowed back inside, business is booming.

“I think there’s even more of an interest now because they’re home and they spend time walking around their yard more often,” Jacovone added.

She also wanted to emphasize that they have a number of safety precautions in place such as sanitizing their carts every time one is returned and making sure customers abide by social distancing.

“We’ve limited the parking, put separation for the parking, people are all wearing masks and gloves,” Jacovone said. “We’ve made a lot of modifications to our shopping. We’ve also added partitions to the registers.”

The store says vegetable seeds are their best-selling item, which they believe is the result of customers wanting a sense of food security, knowing they can plant their own during the pandemic.

Forest Hills Nurseries in Cranston says they are ready for the re-opening but so far, they haven’t had the best one, but they believe it’s been caused by the weather and are looking forward to good weather this upcoming weekend.

But owner Alan Muoio knows eventually the customers will come, and says he’s more concerned with safety.

“I hope we get alot of customers! But we have marked up the nursery, we have 6 foot marks all over,” added Muoio. “We sanitize and once a week our offices and trucks are sanitized by a company named Sole Source.”

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