Evolving Gardening into Outdoor Living: A Petitti Perspective

Evolving Gardening into Outdoor Living: A Petitti Perspective Evolving Gardening into Outdoor Living: A Petitti Perspective

My father, Angelo Petitti, has been growing our family business for over four decades. Together, we are devoted to our growing facilities, retail stores, talented associates, the Northeast Ohio communities and beyond that we serve and most importantly, our customers. I have observed numerous changes in all these aspects of our family business as it grows and evolves alongside the practice of gardening, and I would like to share a few of my perspectives.

Forty years ago, my dad relied on his uncanny business sense, his gut instinct about consumerism and many gifted growers who raised healthy, beautiful plants. Sure, we knew what the hot sellers were back then as evidenced by the empty tables in our greenhouse! Our growing processes were based on trial and error to see what grew well for us, and what disappeared from our stores' shelves. Today, this information age, our inventory systems, point-of-sale data and automated growing methods all help our business grow efficiently and effectively. Trendy, or "in demand" plants are continually being produced during the growing season. Every seed, plant and product is accounted for as we continue to grow up to our customers' expectations.

Our customers used to drive down Broadway, past our Oakwood Village retail location, and pull in the driveway if they saw something that sparked their interest. The practice of gardening was a great hobby back then, and most of our customers gardened to have fun in their spare time. More recently, the practice of gardening has morphed into the practice of healthy living and outdoor living in quick, instantly gratifying episodes. It's not just about the beautiful plants anymore; it's about the 30 minutes of cardio you got while planting a tree, or the extra boost of oxygen you received from your houseplants, and especially how delighted your friends are to come to your cocktail party and to enjoy beverages that are made with fresh berries from your garden!

HGTV and the Food Network carried us into the 21st century. These networks began with rather simplistic shows about gardening, cooking and landscaping; then reality TV came on the scene, and gardening evolved into an outdoor lifestyle. As more people become self-proclaimed "foodies," growing your own has become imperative. Lucky for us, all the Iron Chefs, gourmets, etc., promote and educate consumers about the benefits of growing edibles, including how awesome home-grown veggies and herbs can make you feel and how flavorful they are to cook with and eat. Your home's landscape and flower and veggie gardens are now part of a bigger picture; they flow into the development of outdoor rooms. They can define dining areas and decorate living rooms and are indispensable when planted near kitchens with pizza ovens, counter top bars and grilling stations. What's great is that this is attainable, and we at Petitti's are blessed to be able to assist in this gardening evolution into outdoor living.

Our customers' limited leisure time and space constraints have also influenced the way we grow. Container gardening is a growing practice that is here to stay. It's easy, there's no digging involved, it can be mobile and changed out seasonally and can be highly stylish or classically simple. Many plants are bred specifically to grow extremely well in containers. Think Patio Tomato, Berri Basket Strawberry, and proven winner flowering container combinations that grace the pages of the finest home décor, fashion and lifestyle magazines. Balconies filled with window boxes, a front porch with a miniature garden set next to a rocking chair or mixed herb containers growing near the grill are easy outdoor living projects that any level of gardener can do. At Petitti's, we offer ready-made container gardens in various colors and styles for this very purpose. They provide instant color, instant gratification and instant décor for any outdoor room - for all the space and time-challenged gardeners out there.

We have come a long way throughout this gardening evolution, and will continue to do so.