Plant lovers ‘so happy to get out’ to garden centres as lockdown eases

Thomas Hornall, PA
·3-min read

It was a bright, cold day in April as the clocks struck 10am and a popular garden centre opened to customers for the first time in three months.

A steady stream of plant lovers visited the West End Garden Centre in Glasgow on Monday after it opened its doors to the public in the latest relaxation of lockdown measures.

Customer Anne McGregor said she had marked the day in her diary after relying on home deliveries, adding: “It’s great to see what’s there for yourself rather than on a website.”

She told the PA news agency: “I was keeping an eye on when it was going to reopen.

“I’ve got pots outside the house and it’s so nice to get some colour into them.

“Over the winter all the colour had gone, there are some green plants there, but this will add a splash of something brighter to the front door.”

Retired head teacher Janice Donaldson, 70, added she had been lining up her visit “the moment it was allowed”, adding: “I like my garden looking nice, I’ve got hanging baskets to do, and now things are looking up again.”

Owner Martin McCarron, 36, who opened the centre around two years ago, told PA the phone had been “ringing non-stop with people desperate for us to reopen” and that customers “have been so happy to get out”.

He said: “We’ve been doing home deliveries which has been reasonably busy but there is a big appetite to get out yourself.

“I think this lockdown made people appreciate plants. There is a lot more demand for people growing their own fruit and veg, there’s a big movement towards self-sufficiency and appetite for anything local.

“People are just desperate to get going.”

Diggers and labourers were working around the centre constructing a new shop which will offer a range of seeds and bulbs and more options for indoor plants, he said.

Along with garden centres, hairdressers and barbers reopened on Monday as well as some non-essential shops, including homeware stores and car showrooms.

Interior stylist Sue Berry, 67 and David Berry, 65, picked up some plants for their garden which was “looking a bit bare”.

Mrs Berry said: “I follow them on Facebook to see all the lovely plants online, but coming in person you see them all looking wonderfully healthy.

“I was out yesterday painting the deck around the house, and today I’ve been asking for some advice about plants to go with our garden arch. We’ve been too long indoors.”

They said it was “fantastic” to be out as they had been shielding for much of last year, with Mrs Berry saying she was looking forward to being able to visit her mother in Merseyside.

Teacher Chris Ross, 41, and his partner Jude also popped in for supplies to brighten up their new garden in Hyndland, saying: “Over the last lockdown we spent a lot of time outside and hopefully this spring is as good.”