Great Gardens ready for the new seasons
TORRINGTON – Torrington’s mainstay floral business, Great Gardens, has once again proved as we head into the colder months, that without a prominent business such as this, too many houses wouldn’t have the picturesque, elegant feeling of life throughout our homes and properties.
As the summer months became more and more heated, with plenty of severe weather thrown in between, Great Gardens made sure their supply of striking flowers, plants, trees, shrubs and perennials were ready to go at reasonable prices.
For years, it has always been a top priority of Great Gardens to ensure that Goshen residents would not be without the comforting feeling of natural beauty when it came to their homes.
Now that fall is entering the picture, and with winter just a few short months away, longtime owner and operator of Great Gardens, Jeff Jones, is prepared and well equipped to enter the cold winter months and continue to help assist Goshen residents with their standard floral needs.
As far as wrapping up the summer business months, Jones proclaimed with the help of loyal, longtime customers on top of new ones, it was another success filled with amazing highs and the occasional challenging low.
“It was very good, actually similar to the last two years,” Jones said. “It’s all very similar as far as how many customers come in, sales volume, that kind of thing. I’ve told a few people it was a cold year. It started about December 15, and it really never warmed up after that. So, even though it was colder than average, everybody planted what they needed; flowers, vegetables, etc. That’s gone very well, some of the farmer’s market folks have had great crop and have sold a lot. It’s always the feedback from customers, or even going by houses and commercial buildings where we have either sold or done planting there, and seeing how good things look.”
Even though Jones has an extensive expertise in gardening and planting, of course the occasional summer storm can throw a curve to even the most protected and maintained gardens.
“Even though my house got extreme hail, my vegetables have turned out very well, but still it’s not always easy gardening in this area,” Jones said with a grin. “Even in Scottsbluff they had very severe hail and a lot of the plants that I dealt with came back pretty well. It does take work to get those things back. After hailstorms it’s a good idea to fertilize two or three times a week, and things will come back pretty quickly. Even though some people want to give up, we’ve been open year-round for ten years. Immediately we started getting people who came in hanging baskets where mom was gone for a week or so and didn’t get taken care of.”
Despite Great Gardens being a long-term successful business in Torrington now for decades, of course the changing of seasons brings in different challenges, along with several new factors thrown in as recent years have taught us.
“My biggest challenge over the previous couple of years has just been getting in the supplies I need to grow,” Jones stated. “All of the pots and other things that we need, supply constraints, supply channel, and along with extreme inflation at a 200 or 300 percent increase. Last year a lot of it was down 20 percent from the previous year. Being able to provide good service without raising prices has been very difficult, but at least I was able to obtain all the supplies I needed. At what cost wasn’t as important, just to make sure that I had them was the important thing. I think most of that is behind us as far as supply issues.”
Being a long-time resident of the area, Jones is well aware of what the town’s appearance looks like for better or worse, and noted there is one particular component of the floral business that can be crucial when the time comes throughout the seasons.
“Over the last several years I’ve noticed how many dead trees there are in Torrington and Goshen County. So, I’ve stocked up and have gotten a lot more trees in. This year’s number was somewhere around 500, and we have a sale on trees and shrubs right now. Fall is really a great time to plant trees, shrubs and perennials. I do also sell a lot of trees in the fall, and we have a decent number left. We’ve gone through a lot in the last month, so it’s very good to see.”
With a humbling, yet humorous bit of self-criticism, Jones once again noted a need for upgrades at his own home.
“I recognize I have dead trees at my house,” Jones laughed. “But it takes years before you get them removed and replaced with something else ready to put it.”
Once again with what is sure to be weeks of unpredictable weather, Jones made it a point to remind all community members Great Gardens will continue to be open year-round, and is always ready to make the necessary adjustments to meet upcoming trials, as well as the needs of customers.
“Last winter was very difficult on a lot of trees, shrubs and perennials. Just the drought from the year prior coupled with pretty cold temps, but we’ve had worse. I definitely saw some more damage to trees that I’ve seen normally, and it was that combination of drought and cold winter temps. We will just hope for the best, especially like supplies and selling trees because those will last decades. Trees definitely help the environment and take up a lot of carbon. The more trees I can sell, the better it is for all of us. As far as planting trees in the fall, as long as you can dig a hole you can plant a tree. I don’t look past October to plant trees but if you plant it, the top will freeze but the roots will still be growing for some time. There’s still plenty of time to put in trees if you want to.”
In a world where nothing is for certain, the longtime owner of what has now become a local landmark was convincing and reassuring that Great Gardens is here to stay, and of course is looking forward to another beautiful floral season next spring.
“I mean mostly I’m always looking forward to next year,” Jones said. “I’ve already placed a number of our orders for next year. Over the next month or so I will finish basically all of them, so it’s quite a bit of work in the fall to get ready for next year. We are always looking forward to new varieties. Even friends of mine and good customers don’t realize that we have been open all year round for decades, just to serve the community for whatever they might need. Before we did that, I’m sure a lot of our customers had to go out of town to find product. So, with this, hopefully it keeps a lot of business right here in Goshen County.”
Great Gardens is located at 4706 West Highway 26/85 in Torrington.
If you have further questions or information regarding Great Gardens, feel free to call 307-532-5574. Also visit the GG Facebook page or go to www.greatgardenswy.com.