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Pop-up garden markets fulfill new demand brought on by quarantine

This spring, with stay-at-home orders in full effect, Coloradans have been spending more time than ever at home, resulting in an influx of DIY-projects, sourdough starters, at-home haircuts, puzzles and more. And one Colorado business, Plum Creek Garden Market, is perfectly poised to help serve a well-established but growing hobby in the state — gardening.

Plum Creek Garden Market started in 2013 with the idea to sell locally grown, high-quality flowers and plants directly to the community. Since then, the company has run a pop-up seasonal market in Castle Rock. This year, even before COVID-19 hit, the company began planning its expansion.

“In 2020, we wanted to expand our markets because we started to see a lot of independent garden centers, many of whom I sold wholesale to, closing,” says Jeremy Friedman, owner of Plum Creek Garden Market. “We staked out locations for a second location in Golden and a third in Denver.”

This year, Plum Creek has three markets: one in Denver (2150 S. Monaco Pkwy.), one in Golden (17204 S. Golden Rd.) and one in Castle Rock (1506 S. Wilcox St.), each open daily through the end of June. The three pop-up markets feature perennials, annuals, vegetables and the supplies to care for them, with a knowledgeable staff ready to answer questions.

“We like to supply plants that are native to Colorado that you would only be able to find in an independent garden center,” Friedman says. “We try to cater to each location’s needs as best we can. For example, Castle Rock seems to have a lot of deer, so we stock deer resistant plants and flowers there.”

While Plum Creek’s expansion was originally intended to fill the customer demand left by the closure of some of the state’s independent garden centers, the stay-at-home and safer-at-home orders created an increased demand for the pop-up markets and the products they provide.

“I’ve definitely seen a lot of new gardeners this season,” Friedman says. “We’ve seen that in times of crisis in the past, people have turned to plants to help feed their souls. People are looking for their own sense of security, and I think gardening for the very first time is a hobby that makes sense during this time.” Specifically, he has seen an increased interest in growing vegetables, as consumers are more interested than ever in growing their own food.

With COVID-19, Plum Creek is taking precautions to keep employees and customers safe. This includes maintaining cleanliness of the greenhouse space, limiting customers, encouraging distancing, wearing masks, and asking customers to shop at the markets during the week to limit overcrowding on the weekends.