The weather is warming up. The grass is turning green. And the trees are beginning to bud. Spring is the time of year to start thinking about flowers, gardening, landscaping and backyard patio areas to gather at.

Lynde Greenhouse and Nursery in Maple Grove has been owned and operated by five generations of the Lynde family. Since 1971, the business has been serving the Maple Grove community and surrounding areas with all types of flowers.

Last year was a different sort of year with a global pandemic, shutdowns and quarantines.

Christina Timm, with Lynde’s, said, “Last year was unique. We sold out of plant material, namely vegetables and herbs, faster than we ever had.”

She added that weekends in May are usually packed and finding a parking space is a challenge. With social distancing and limiting the number of people in the store at a given time last year, Lynde’s communicated out to its customers that it needed their help, by shopping outside the typically busy hours, evenings and weekends.

Despite the call to customers, Lynde’s did experience some shortages.

“The two-week shut down set us back two weeks,” Timm said. “During that time, we had only about 15 staff members on site doing what we could to keep things going that required a staff double that, if not more. On top of that, many people were very interested in gardening last year because plants bring people joy. We were very grateful to in the essential category and allow people to shop. Seasonal annuals, vegetables, and herbs sold faster than ever.”

She added that people were coming in at the end of May looking for tomatoes and Lynde’s was sold out.

Lynde’s also offers help with outdoor landscaping projects. Timm said last year the landscaping crew was still able to get out and continue working. “We had a full schedule and flowed into this year,” she added.

The pandemic did push Lynde’s into a direction the business was hoping to branch out to. There had been discussions of how to reach customers online. “The pandemic was the push we needed to set up an online shop,” Timm said.

Lynde’s has also decided to keep some of the pandemic changes in place permanently. The flower benches in the garden center have been laid out differently by going from 6’ to 3’ to make the aisles wider for more space for customers. Online shopping and curbside pickup and local delivery will also remain.

Timm does not see much changing this year compared to last year with the customers at Lynde’s.

“Last year people were crazy for plants and we think that will continue into this year,” she said. “People got hooked last year and with the popularity of houseplants businesses, we are hoping we will be equally booming this year. Our landscape calendar is booking up fast with have the summer scheduled with jobs.”

There are some trends in landscaping. Timm said one trend that is always popular is updating or refreshing an existing landscape.

“With young families moving from apartments to an existing home the landscaping could use an update,” she said. “Especially in the Maple Grove area with some homes built in the 1980s.”

Another trend is outdoor kitchens. “With people at home more cooking/grilling and dining outside is big,” she added.

Adding native plants to a garden, pollinator gardens for bees and butterflies, incorporating vegetable gardens, and creating fire pits and gathering spacing on a patio where a family can gather outside are also popular.

Timm does have some recommendations for first-timers looking to get into gardening or an outdoor landscaping project. “There is a reason landscaping projects can be pricey,” she said. “It’s hard work. There is lots of labor that goes into creating a paver patio or boulder wall. If you plan to start a project on your own, do a lot of research beforehand. It’s good to have an organized plan before getting started.”

She added that Lynde’s can help out homeowners with established gardens. Lynde’s has a perennial and shrub expert and lots of long-time gardeners on staff that have helped many customers with ideas on switching up their perennial/garden beds or container gardens.

“We strive to be a source of knowledge where people can learn about gardening, plants, and everything green,” Timm said. “We have a list of soils, mulches, and plant feeds listed on our website with more products coming soon. We are also working on plant care for houseplants, annuals, and perennials.”

She added, “We are very grateful to our customers for supporting local throughout the last year and we look forward to another amazing year of gardening and sharing our passion for plants.”

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