Tonawanda News

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May 11, 2014

Local nurseries hope sun on Mother's Day will finally get their season started

business: Local nurseries hope sun today will finally get their season started


Tonawanda News — “I tell them to watch the weather forecast, but basically, it’s still a little early for most things.” Buryta said.

At Pipiles on Lockport-Olcott Road in Newfane, owner Bill Pipiles agreed that the cold spring weather made for a slow start, but things are getting back to normal with the recent warm spell.

“Last year on opening day, which was May 3, we did more business on that one day than we have so far this year,” Pipiles said.

The Newfane family business grows all of its own plants that are in “six packs.” Seeds are started in the greenhouse in early March, and by Mother’s Day, most of the flowers are blooming. The business is open daily until about mid-June, when the plants are all sold out, Pipiles said.

At Wayside Nurseries and Landscaping on Porter Road in Niagara Falls, the cold weather has meant holding off on hiring a full seasonal staff. Both the nursery and landscaping divisions, typically a total of about 20 employees, are smaller than usual for this time of year.

”I wouldn’t say it’s a crisis,” said Rachael Rotella Glassner, nursery manager, of Wayside, which is owned by her brother Michael Rotella and her mom, Jenine. “It’s part of the business. You have to take the good with the bad and our business is weather dependent.”

 “Unfortunately when the weather is cool like this, people don’t want to plant right away,” she added. 

Today is the second busiest day for Wayside, next to Memorial Day. “We’re hoping for a good turnout as usual,” Glassner said.  “I don’t want to dwell on the negative. We want to encourage people. The weather’s looking beautiful and it’s time to buy.”

In the long run, those who waited until now to buy their flowers will receive the benefits of a better flower or plant, according to the aforementioned LaMarca of Alcliff Nursery in the Falls.

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