Ohio garden center meets the challenges of inflation

LAKEWOOD, Ohio — When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, many people spent their time at home working on their lawns and gardens, causing demand issues. Problems persist for some garden centers as inflation takes its toll.

Gardening is something Paul Bilyk says he always enjoyed.

” I like helping people. I am constantly impressed and amazed by my plants and nature, just learning what we can do and how to do it,” he said.

He has worked at the Lakewood Garden Center since it opened in 2010.

What do you want to know

  • Gardening is something Paul Bilyk said he always loved
  • He said the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic was something the garden industry was not prepared for.
  • He said inflation was hitting new highs
  • Bilyk said as far as supplies go, it’s a community effort and he remains hopeful for the future.

He said the garden industry was unprepared for the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“One of the things we all seemed to be in a rush for was our yards and our gardens,” he said. “So there was definitely a crisis and a supply.”

He said inflation was hitting new highs as prices for fertilizers, plants and other lawn and garden tools continued to climb.

“Overall, we’re probably looking at a 20-30% price increase,” he said. “A lot of things that pre-pandemic would have started at $8 or $9.99 are now, you’re looking at $12, $13.99.”

He said with the supplies, it’s a community effort.

“The beautiful thing that we have is that we partner with a lot of local nurseries and kind of a little Lakewood store mentality and communities like this are really helping us weather the storm and in many cases , we may be coming back stronger than we were when we went,” he said.

He said he remains hopeful for the future.

“I think we’re going to end up looking at this more as an opportunity for growth than a problem to overcome,” he said.