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US (ME): Nice weather sparks interest in gardening, and in garden centers

The sun was bright and shining on Saturday, and for greenhouse owners like Mike Skillin, nice weather translates to more green.

"The great weather just gets people motivated," Skillin said. "Sales do skyrocket." Skills co-owns Skillins Greenhouses in Falmouth. He says he saw more customers than usual last year, due to many people seeking a socially distanced outdoor activity.

"We did benefit from that as time went along," he said. "We actually just had our best Winter season on record." Now that Winter is in the rearview for many Mainers, those with green thumbs say their weekend will revolve around getting the necessary items for their garden.

"We were just so excited to get outside we've been cooped up all Winter," Falmouth resident Meryl Ryan said. "It's beautiful outside. Everybody's excited," Brunswick resident Melissa Madigan said. "Let's get rid of Winter and get some pretty flowers out here."

Skillin says he's happy to see the extra number of customers this weekend, but says he wouldn't be surprised if added interest in gardening subsides as the pandemic slowly comes to an end.

"All explosions do die out, so I think we will level back a little bit," he said. "However, I did see one survey from a colleague that shows 81 percent of new gardeners from 2020 are considering sticking with it. That would be great if that comes true."

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