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Water-conserving gardeners spring into planting

Nurseries say rain barrels, recent rain and drought resistant plants are giving people a new found interest in gardening.

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RALEIGH, N.C. — During the first weekend of spring, people are venturing out to plant gardens. Relaxed water restrictions and recent rain are giving folks a new found interest in foliage.

Carol Perryman is ready to revive her landscape. Something she said she would not have dreamed of doing six months ago.

“Then you know, we went to level 2 (water restrictions) and I thought what on earth am I going to do,” Perryman said.

Weathering the drought has been difficult, especially for those whose business thrives on the outdoors. There was a definite slow down, but business is springing back for Triangle nurseries.

“People love living things. It's a wonderful added value to our lives,” said Joshua Logan with Logan's Trading Co., a nursery north of downtown Raleigh.

Easter weekend is typically the busiest for outdoor centers. Employees at Logan's Trading Co. said they have noticed customers have more confidence they can withstand the drought through their own efforts.

“So far, the last couple of weeks, it has been raining about once a week. So it's encouraging,” Vickie Safran said.

“We got a rain barrel and we're thinking about getting a second one,” John Safran said.

Rain barrels are selling out and drought resistant plants are hot items at gardening centers.

“I think in a lot of ways, we've been saved from a much more serious problem some years down the road had we not had this drought to sort of wake up the community,” Logan said.

Nearly everyone who shops at Logan's Trading Co. asks about the drought.

“We're out there checking the Web sites going, 'Yes, we're at 50 percent reservoir, check it out. Go rain,'” Perryman said.

Raleigh's primary reservoir, Falls Lake was about 74 percent of its normal level Tuesday, holding 10.8 billion gallons. When full, the lake holds 14.6 billion gallons.

Employees at Logan Trading company said so far, sales this year have outpaced last year.

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 Credits

Erin Coleman, Reporter
Greg Hutchinson, Photographer
Minnie Bridgers, Web Editor

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