Petitti Garden Centers, a seven-store independent garden center retailer headquartered in Oakwood Village, Ohio, was started in 1971 by company President Angelo Petitti.
In 1964, at the age of sixteen, Petitti convinced his mother to leave their home in the small town of Faeto, Italy (near Naples), where his deceased father had farmed, and come to the United States. The Petittis came to the Cleveland area because of an uncle who lived in Warrensville. After studying English for six months, Petitti enrolled at Kent State University's night school while starting and operating a small landscaping business during the days.
In 1969, Petitti decided to move to Florida where he could develop a year-round landscaping business. After a year with an unbearably hot summer, he moved back to Cleveland, and with his brother Domenico, they formed Petitti Bros. Landscape Contractors. They soon were buying so much landscape material that they had to leave some of it front of the garage of Petitti's Oakwood Village home. Customers began stopping by and this garage became the first in Petitti's chain of six retail garden centers.
Today, Petitti Garden Centers sets itself apart from other independent garden retailers with its own local growing facilities, producing 98 percent of its own perennials, annuals, trees and shrubs. This translates into the greatest number of varieties and the largest selection of fresh, high quality plants available for the customer including unusual hostas and daylilies not easily found at other garden centers.
The growing for the retail stores is done at Petitti's 29-acre Casa Verde production facility in Columbia Station, Ohio. This greenhouse produces annuals, perennials and tropical plants for the seven Petitti Garden Centers in the Greater Cleveland area. Casa Verde Growers was recently listed as one of the top 100 growers and the third largest growers of perennials nationally by Greenhouse Grower magazine (May 2000). Trees, shrubs, hostas and daylilies are grown for the Petitti retail stores at Petitti's 140-acre farm in Madison, Ohio.
Petitti Garden Centers are located at 24964 Broadway Ave., Oakwood Village; 311 West Ave., Tallmadge; 5130 Lee Road, Maple Heights. Petitti Garden Centers are also in Sears, at Southland Shopping Center, Middleburg Heights; Richmond Town Center, Richmond Heights; and Great Lakes Mall, Mentor.
A seventh Petitti Garden Center, modeled after those in Europe, opened in March 2001 on Pearl Road in Strongsville, Ohio. This 14-acre garden center is a Victorian conservatory and is one of the largest and first of its kind in the United States. The center was designed by English garden center designer, Malcolm Scott and houses a restaurant and a seminar room to be used by local garden clubs. Display gardens fill the acres of land for customers to enjoy, and items are for sale from all over the world including pottery, statuary and unique garden accents.
Petitti Garden Centers is a family owned business operated by Angelo Petitti. Angelo is familiar to local gardeners as the host of the highly rated Gardening with Angelo radio call-in show Saturday mornings from 8:00 a.m.-9:00 a.m., on WDOK, 102.1 FM. You can also catch Angelo on Sundays from 9:00 a.m.-10:00 a.m., WTAM 1100 AM, where Angelo answers callers gardening questions live on air.
Petitti Garden Centers employs a knowledgeable horticultural staff dedicated to educating the home gardener. The staff, which numbers 150 year-round employees and grows to 300 employees during the peak Spring season, is experienced in all aspects of gardening, from disease diagnosis and insect identification to on-site design consultation. A professional naturalist is also on staff.
The Petitti Post, Petitti Garden Centers newsletter, is mailed out free of charge to over 55,000 local gardeners seven times a year. The newsletter is filled with seasonal gardening tips, information on new plant varieties that the company is growing and a complete list of seminars and special events. Annual special events include a Family Fall Festival in October, a Spring Garden Show in April, a Garden Party Benefit for Cleveland's St. Malachi Center in June and Daylily and Hosta Festivals in July.
In keeping with Petitti Garden Center's philosophy of educating the home gardener, Petitti's conducts free Saturday seminars during the spring and fall at Oakwood Village and Strongsville. Topics range from spring clean-up and lawn maintenance to planting for four seasons of color. Angelo Petitti and his staff also speak to local gardening clubs, church and senior groups and community organizations on selected gardening topics.
Petitti Garden Centers is also involved in educating young gardeners through the Petitti's Kids Club, a free, monthly hands-on children's gardening club, which teaches gardeners under the age of 12 the basics of gardening, while having a bit of fun. The Club meets the first Saturday of every month at the Oakwood Village and Tallmadge stores, and will soon begin meeting at the Strongsville store.
e-mail Mark Johnson with your gardening questions and comments: email@example.com
Catch Angelo on Mark's Garden on NewsChannel5 every Wednesday at noon (April - December) and every Friday at 5 p.m. (April - October).
Copyright 2002 by NewsNet5. The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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