It's open all hours again at Borders garden centres as the public return in droves

There were queues around the block at a Borders garden centre as customers flocked back after lockdown easing this week.

Tuesday, 6th April 2021, 3:34 pm
Staff at Milestones, Leanne Charlton and Kirstie Thomson. (Photo: BILL McBURNIE)

Rob Lumsdon, manager of the Mayfield Garden Centre in Kelso, was expecting it to be busy when he reopened the doors for the first time since Christmas Eve on Bank Holiday Monday.

But he wasn’t quite prepared for the queues of customers waiting patiently to feed their gardening fix.

Rob said: “We reopened at nine o’clock on Monday morning and to say that customers were chomping at the bit to get back in would be an understatement.

Staff at Mayfield Garden Centre, Kelso, which opened from Easter Monday, Christine Simmons, Tilda Kerse and manager, Rob Lumsdon. (Photo: BILL McBURNIE)

"There was a queue to the car park when we first opened and we never got rid of the queue all day. There was a lot of pent-up demand or a lot of pent-up frustration, one of the two.

"The queue was varying in length all day but it was really busy all day. I would say it was comfortably twice as busy as an average day in April.

"The demand for plants was phenomenal, more so veg and seeds, seed potatoes, quite a lot of ornamental plants have been going through the tills as well.

"All the staff came back on Monday in the garden centre, which is around about 18 staff.

"A lot of customers have said they have missed us and that they want to get back out in the garden and I can see that because the plants going through, and the furniture as well, indicates that people are looking at staycations and spending time in their own gardens.

"It’s a really bumper time for garden centres.”

Ross Allan, director of Milestone Garden Centre at Newtown St Boswells, said: “It was really exciting and the staff were all fired up and ready for the customers to come back in.

"We have done a lot of work to the garden centre during lockdown with a limited staff. It was really busy and everyone was compliant with what we needed them to do and enjoyed shopping and getting their seeds and seed potatoes and compost and plants, obviously people had been sitting and planning what to do in their gardens during lockdown and were ready to come in and get some colourful plants for their gardens.

"It was steady all day on Monday and it worked out nicely.”