FORTY FORT, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — We are a few weeks away from the busiest time at local garden centers, but they’re also feeling the effects of high gas prices.

Ed Kopec from Edward’s Garden Center in Forty Fort says, “Every product that we are getting in has a surcharge on it. Just to give you an example, we sell decorative gravel. And one of the decorative gravels that comes from out of state, normally it would go up a dollar, a dollar fifty a ton-fourteen dollars and fifty cents a ton. Crazy!”

Kopec has been in the gardening business for more than four decades. In a few weeks, he will enter the busiest time of the year as homeowners throughout the Wyoming Valley and beyond want to beautify their gardens, lawns, and ponds.

“We had a load of bagged soils coming from Canada. The surcharge was supposed to be four hundred and sixty dollars. Our rep was in the other day, it’s fifteen hundred dollars.”

Landscape contractors throughout the area have already started with spring cleanups and mulching. One thing the pandemic has thought us is that homeowners have come to appreciate their space and of course their property.

“Home is their haven. And the place to relax and enjoy on the weekends and just let their hair down. So, they always want it to look nice. And at our garden center, we offer everything.”

Ed’s dealing with gas prices like everybody and says he started with the rationing in the late 1970s, seen it all, and will go on.

“There were odd and even days I think when you could gas up. So, I would rather be able to get fuel, than have a shortage. So that’s a positive. It’s expensive, but ah, it’s just the way it is. I mean we’ve experienced droughts, recessions, and all kinds of things over the years. You know, it’s up and down, but we’ll get through this.”

Ed says a positive, from the pandemic, is that people have learned to appreciate their homes and they want their properties to look beautiful!