SASKATOON -- With warm temperatures on the horizon, homeowners will switch their focus to lawns and gardens once again.

A local horticulture company in Saskatoon forecasts another busy season; however, there’s a stark difference in the amount of annuals, perennials and fruit trees in stock.

“We’ve ended up pulling plants from as far away as B.C. this year because we can’t get everything we need in the local market anymore,” said Mike Payne, co-owner of Highwind Horticulture Ltd.

“People are staying closer to home, they’re not going out so much and when you’re staying home, they’re thinking ‘Why can’t I enjoy the space the way I want to?’”

Around this time last year, Payne said Highwind was taking advantage of “opportunistic” buys after larger greenhouses cancelled orders for bedding plants and trees. Fast forward to 2021 and those opportunities have disappeared.

“This year, everything is cleaned out,” Payne said.

The shortage of bedding plants has been attributed to severe winter storms in the southern United States. Turning to local markets and farms, Payne said it’s pretty much all spoken for, and he’s been forced to branch out to different suppliers.

Beyond the effects of weather in the U.S., Payne said the current market is the result of increased demand for bedding plants, with more people opting to stay home and beautify their living spaces.

“It’s one of those years where there’s increased demand, selection is kind of limited now. If you know what you want, go out and get it. If you don’t know what you want, figure it out. You still have some time, but in about a month everyone is going to start buying,” Payne said.