It’s looking to be a wild ride for spring gardening in San Antonio, Texas. The impact of the continued pandemic, followed by the severity of winter storm Uri, is being realized throughout our city in a multitude of ways. Rainbow Gardens is no different. Here’s a run down on what’s going behind the scenes (and in front of you) with spring plants at our nurseries. Welcome to the jungle!

The big news is that EVERYONE wants plants right now. Okay, that’s normal for a spring, but because of the damage from the storm in many San Antonio landscapes, EVERYONE REALLY WANTS PLANTS RIGHT NOW! The plant demand is super high, and the supply is lower than usual. Many of our growers had storm damage destroy entire fields of crops. Many faced the power outages we all did and lost what they thought could be protected in their greenhouses. Crops that did survive ended up being stretched across buyers and the quantity of plants that ends up getting delivered is somewhat smaller. The struggle is real for all of us!

Spring plants at Rainbow Gardens
Spring veggies at Rainbow Gardens

While our growers work to get healthy, quality plant material to us so that we can get it to you, the fact is that there is somewhat of a delay this spring. The delay from our Texas growers looks to be about 3 weeks, but in all reality, it could possibly take longer. This is happening all over Texas. I am going to insert this now: WE STILL HAVE PLANTS! We still have MANY plants. We are receiving trucks from our Texas growers and many out of state growers every week. The nurseries are not bare at all!

However, if you are browsing the nursery and you come across a plant you’ve been searching for, buy it. We can’t currently guarantee that we’ll get that plant on our next order, or the following order after that. This too shall pass. It is a temporary situation, but we don’t have the answers for a date when the horticultural industry in Texas will “catch up”.

Hydrangeas at Rainbow Gardens
Bulbine at Rainbow Gardens

Rainbow Gardens is still placing orders and using all our resources (and then some) to find you plant material. We’ve been growing and nurturing our own plants and seedlings and continue planting more to be able to increase the size of our inventory to offer you. We hope that you can have patience with us throughout this unprecedented spring. We will do the same for you; we are all in the same storm-ravaged boat.

That is what is happening behind the scenes. Here is what is happening in front of you at the nursery. Everyday at Rainbow Gardens, our staff is working hard to unload truck after truck of new plant material. Shipments may be smaller than a normal spring but the shipments are still coming. In some cases, transplants we are receiving may be smaller in stature. This is temporary and is to be expected due to the delay of planting and the demand to still have plant material for customers for spring.

What we ask of you is that while we are unloading and counting our merchandise, please have patience with us and allow us to get everything accounted for. When we are accepting trucks it is extremely important that customers stay clear and safe of the area. Delivery racks could be unstable or accidentally topple. We are also trying to keep social distancing in place as more and more people head to the nursery to buy plants. Please help us by not crowding around the plants and trucks while we are receiving and counting shipments, and by giving ample space between yourself and other customers.

We may experience longer lines throughout the weekends and we ask for patience with our staff as we work to get everyone checked out in a timely manner. A great tip is to shop the nursery on Thursdays or Fridays if you are able. We get most of our trucks delivered by then so it is a great time to see our plant selections for the week. A positive attitude and plenty of patience will get us through this unusual spring. We thank you for choosing to buy your plants at smaller, local businesses like Rainbow Gardens. Believe us, we know you have a choice! Without you, there would be no us, so please know that you are greatly appreciated. We look forward to seeing your friendly, masked faces and can’t wait for you to see ours!

~The Happy Gardener and the entire Rainbow Gardens Team