The Sacramento region has been hit hard by nursery closings. The Sacramento Bee has the story here.It is a trend that likely will continue for the foreseeable future. So many of the nurseries here rode the home equity bandwagon for years. People with increasing home values took out equity loans to finance a style of living that was unsustainable. It's not just poorly run stores, but operations that we're considered, "The Best" that are closing. Two of the nurseries closing were well respected, and voted "The Best" in a local magazine poll. So its clearly a matter of too much supply and not enough demand, not necessarily poor business practices.
Here is a interactive map where you can hold your cursor over your county and see what the unemployment status is. Here in El Dorado county our unemployment rate is 10.9%, which is slightly lower than the state wide average of 11.4%. In Sacramento the rate stands at 11.9% which explains the continued closing of so many small businesses in the valley.
The trend of nursery closings will likely continue until some type of equilibrium is established. I guess we just built too many garden centers during the boom times, and now the the bill has come due.