As we enter the third month of the COVID-19 pandemic, I would probably not have predicted where our industry ended up. Sure, recessions have been good for our industry, but that wasn’t the case during the 2008-2009 recession. Talking to industry folks in the first month, there was a lot of fear, a lot of cancellations, and a lot of unknowns. People worried that they would need to dump surplus product. What a turnaround—now I’ve heard that people are selling out and can’t keep things stocked. I can’t say that everything is solved—we’re not out of the woods yet, but what could have been a disaster for the industry has turned out to be one of the best year’s ever.
This is reinforced by what I see in my own community here in Michigan. I drove around town and see people gardening with their families and updating their landscapes. When I go into garden centers, shelves are totally empty. From communicating with people in the industry, there’s a feeling of being blessed that our industry was able to thrive in many ways during COVID while others weren’t, but at the same time these sky-high demands can be overwhelming and leading to a lot of burnout.
I’m excited to announce that we have two really cool virtual events coming up that we hope you check out that we are calling PPA: Virtual Edition. On June 17th we’ve teamed up with GardenComm to talk about New Ways to Communicate. Tune in to be inspired by a panel of five speakers who sure to inspire you on communication and marketing ideas. On June 24th join us to hear 5 Experts Choose their Favorite Perennial Plant of the Year. Read more about it here: https://perennialplant.org/page/VirtualEdition
Finally, I would be remiss to not address the most significant news item on people’s mind—the recent death of George Floyd and the protests that have been going on since late May. If I didn’t have all the answers for COVID-19 I definitely don’t have the answers for the situation here beyond listening, self-education, learning, and growing.