Spring and early summer are abloom on the East Coast. And the floriculture industry in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Maryland have much to do with it.
Despite the economic recession, New Jersey's floriculture crops was $178 million last year, up 7% from 2009. And State Secretary of Agriculture Douglas Fisher traveled to Timothy's Center for Gardening at Robbinsville, N.J., recently to announce the findings.
of a report by the USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service.
Timothy's Center for Gardening is typical of intensive horticultural operations. Tim Serinese, a third-generation grower, grows annuals, perennials and fall mums on one and a half acres. "Our specialty is our large selection and quality – we have one of the largest retail perennial departments in the area," says Serinese, who has an Ornamental Horticulture degree from Delaware Valley College.
"The best part of this business is knowing your customers enjoy coming to your store and that you are helping to make the yard or garden the way they want it," he adds. The business was started by his grandfather, father and uncle on the same location in 1965.
New Jersey, according to NASS, ranks eighth in the nation in expanded wholesale value of floriculture crops, just behind neighboring New York, but outpacing Pennsylvania and Maryland. Floriculture crops include bedding plants, such as flowering annuals, and also cut flowers, chrysanthemums, hostas, lilies, poinsettias and foliage plants.
Garden State bedding and garden plants sales were $110.5 million, an increase of 3% from a year earlier. Cut flower sales totaled $12.4 million, also up from $11.4 million in 2009, says Fisher.Dominick Mondi, executive director of the New Jersey Nursery and Landscape Association, adds that the survey shows floriculture is a viable industry in New Jersey. Along with other horticultural products and services, it's a great contributor to the local economy.