Last June, like every year, European Planters began the long process of getting their hydrangeas ready for sales this spring.
Up until a few weeks ago, everything was fairly normal for the Niagara-on-the-Lake (NOTL) greenhouse.
Then, the novel coronavirus hit.
“Everything was ready to start getting shipped,” said Jim van der Zalm. “Now, we’re back to zero.”
The family-run greenhouse has been left scrambling to find buyers for upwards of 10,000 potted flowers. Typically, Easter is a busy time for the family as they sell thousands of hydrangeas. Those orders have all been cancelled, tough, and the family is worried that the length of the outbreak could endanger the entire spring season and other major holidays for florists, such as Mother’s Day.
In an effort to at least get some of the flowers sold, the family has turned to direct sales to local customers. Sons, Jimmy and Trevor, who co-own the greenhouse with their father, came up with the idea. The entire van der Zalm family reached out to friends and family this week, and customers have been calling to place orders regularly.