Last spring when the pandemic struck, Jenna Rossbach, owner of Fancy Plants greenhouse in Moretown, could have allowed in-person shopping, but there was not enough known about how the COVID-19 virus spread for her to be comfortable with that.

“I didn’t feel like being a guinea pig,” she said. That led to her creating an online shopping portal after she created a catalogue of her plants and a system for inventorying them.

Then she created a plan for people to select a pick-up time for curbside pickup with people coming at 15-minute intervals.


“I was working as hard as I could to pack orders. Last spring, we thought the pandemic would be done in a couple of months. We’re not done yet, but I’m not ever doing that online order, inventorying and curbside pickup again,” Rossbach said.

This year the greenhouse will be open with a limit of 10 people in the space at a time. With greater knowledge about how the virus spreads and people getting vaccines, Rossbach said she’s comfortable and confident about people returning to the greenhouse.

Last year, she sold out of all of the things people could can last year, such as cucumbers and paste along with other items like onions. This year she initially encountered issues sourcing seeds for paste tomatoes forcing her to shop around.

She is anticipating plants that can be preserved to be popular again this year and feels that with people in the greenhouse to do their shopping they will do more impulse purchasing, including purchasing more flowers.


“Last year I had a lot of first-time gardeners. I’ve heard from about a dozen of them and they’re raring to go this year. I think the demand is going to be as high as last year whether those first-time gardeners had success or not,” Rossbach added.

She will open Fancy Plants on Mother’s Day weekend and will only sell frost-hardy plants for the first couple of weeks.

“I won’t let the babies leave the nest until I’m confident those babies won’t get frosted,” Rossbach warned.

The greenhouse will be open Thursday through Sunday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.