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Cipriano's Nursery offers a gardening getaway despite pandemic

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Cipriano Nursery and Florist, in East Meadow, would under normal circumstances be gearing up for its annual Easter festival, which was set to take place this weekend. Manager Maria Cipriano was prepared to hide eggs for children to find around the nursery’s garden center, a verdant labyrinth of flowers, plants and pathways crafted from tree branches.

Despite having to cancel the event and close its storefront florist and gift shop because of the coronavirus pandemic, Cipriano said that the nursery remains open for curbside pickup, delivery and browsing in the garden center.

“We have a large space where everybody could keep their distance, so they could even come here to get a breath of fresh air,” she noted. “We like to call it a stroll in our paradise.”

Cipriano explained that cut flowers are harder to acquire now because many suppliers and delivery companies are closed. Outside, though, the nursery has plants, perennial flowers, vegetables, herbs, statues and other garden decorations.

“Our customers are very happy that we remain open,” she said. “Some are saying they have more time to tend to their garden than they’ve had in years. And they can plant and decorate with their children.”

Cipriano was looking forward to the Easter festival, which usually features an egg hunt, photos with Easter characters and crafts for children. She said she hopes to throw a festival this fall that will be a smorgasbord of holidays to make up for lost time — which might include an egg hunt for Easter, crafts for Mother’s Day and a costume contest for Halloween.

But for now, she said, “We’re here to move the days quicker and keep everybody happy with their gardening.”

Despite the ripple effect the pandemic has had on East Meadow businesses, others besides Cipriano’s are striving to spread springtime joy among their customers.