THE owners of Cardwell Garden Centre are digging in to make sure gardeners won’t be short of flowers to plant when the coronavirus crisis is over.
The centre’s directors, Drew, Kieran and Stefanie Gallagher have been looking after thousands of seedlings and plug plants inside a giant greenhouse.
The 12-acre nursery looks like an ocean of small plant pots and every day they make sure flowers like geraniums, begonias, petunias and Bacopas are well watered and cared for.
These are just some of the flowering plants favoured by gardeners in the summer months and the Cardwell bosses are hoping the current restrictions will be lifted in time for the garden centre to re-open and people can re-stock their gardens.
The Gallagher family decided to completely close Cardwell for business on March 23 to protect customers and staff during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Staff have been put on furlough until the centre reopens and this means it is left to the three directors to look after their massive stock of plants in the early stages of growth.
Drew Gallagher said: “These are extraordinary times we are living in and only the second time the centre has been closed since our father, Eric opened a nursery in 1962. The last time was in 2018 when the Beast from the East brought unusually freezing cold temperatures and heavy snow.
“Before we closed we introduced a free delivery service in Inverclyde, but we couldn’t continue with that due to the restrictions introduced around the coronavirus pandemic.
“As well as making sure the plug plants will be in top condition and ready for sale later this summer, we’re also maintaining the current stock of plants and flowers in the garden centre.”
Drew added: “The plants growing in our nursery need a lot of attention, so Kieran, Stefanie and myself are going back on the tools to make sure we have top quality plants for gardeners when we come out the other end of this crisis.
“The majority of the garden centre’s turnover comes between April and July and it’s unlikely we will be able to open as normal during this time.
“However, we want to make sure that when the current trading restrictions are relaxed, we are ready to open in some form and have quality plants ready for the garden.”