Spring is in the air, and despite the ongoing COVID-19 crisis and social distancing measures, Ponoka greenhouses are open and ready to help you get your lawn and garden looking beautiful and ready to greet the warmer weather.
Tine Roelofsen Rakai, co-owner of Bobtail Nursery with her husband A.J. Rakai, says with a little bit of extra patience from customers, it should be a successful season.
Bobtail Nursery opened on April 1, and has added services to allow for social distancing, and there is a 10-person limit in the store during regular hours.
Their new online plant list and order form has also proven to be quite popular. People can either email their order or call it in, and it will be ready for pickup via drive through or delivery.
Tine says she hasn’t wanted to offer an order form before, because of all the added paperwork, but it’s become necessary now and has proven to be an asset.
With the extra time at home has become the reality for many people, they may be turning to yard work to fill up their spare hours.
“I think we will see some beautiful yards in Ponoka,” said Tine.
Tine says that people have already been stocking up on edibles such as tomatoes and cucumbers, indicating a number of people are interested in growing vegetable gardens this year.
People have also been inquiring a lot about trees, shrubs and perennials, and those are coming in during the first week of May.
For a full explanation of their precautionary measures and services, visit their website at bobtailnursery.ca.
Arbutus Nursery will be open for business on May 1, and will follow all Alberta Health guidelines.
The nursery has re-arranged things so there are one-way direction aisles, so people don’t have to pass each other and can maintain six feet of distancing.
The sales area has moved to the Quonset to allow for more room at the cash register, and there will be sanitation stations set up throughout the shop.
They will limit 15 customers inside at a time.
“It’s a different world … you just have to adjust,” said Tony Ruijsch, who is the co-owner with his wife, Debby Hameluck.
Earlier in the year, Arbutus was expecting a tougher season, but is remaining optimistic.
Stock was ordered last fall and the nursery began growing in February.
“You just have to do the best you can and keep your customers in mind and you’ll be okay,” said Ruijsch.
PJ’s Plantation, located near Tees, on the southeast corner of Hwy. 12 and Range Road 24-0, is opening for the season on May 1 as well, and will be open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Husband and wife team, owners Peter and Jody Fowler, make up the “P” and “J” in PJ’s Plantation.
This year marks the 20th anniversary of the opening of PJ’s Plantation.
The couple had been planning to hold a celebration with their customers, but now that isn’t possible.
“It’s going to be a challenge this season but we’re hopeful we can make it work so everyone can enjoy the plants while they’re home or isolating,” said Jody.
She added that plants make people happy, and that’s something that’s especially needed right now.
“We’re going to do our best so we can provide everyone with a little plant therapy.”
The nursery will be complying with social distancing recommendations and sanitation practices and limiting the number of customers inside to no more than 15 at a time.
Curbside pickup is available, however, they’re not set up for deliveries at this time.
They carry a wide variety of plants, including bedding plants, hanging baskets, herbs, planters, vegetable transplants, trees, shrubs and perennials, which can be found at www.pjsplantation.ca.
Orders can be placed by texting 403-348-9803 or by email at email@example.com.