A HISTORY OF PASSION SINCE 1930
Certainly the absence of Giovanni Arcangeli will be deeply felt. Not only by his dear ones and those who knew him, but even by the whole world of Pistoia’s nurseries. He was one of the founders of the local nursery activities regarding ornamental plants: in fact, it was 1930 when, cooperating with some other local growers, he started cultivating grafted fruit trees.
But he soon realized the potentialities of this field and, a few years later, he armed himself with his spade; without thinking it over too much, he decided to uproot some rows of vines in order to replace them with conifers (one of his passions). So, even against many people’s skepticism, he found new ways of shaking up local traditions. His life was always characterized by innovation and the desire to learn more and more about his job. He will be remembered by the local colleagues as the man who brought paraffin grafting technique to Pistoia. There are also some amusing anecdotes going round about this technique: Giovanni, who was not only an able farmer but even a clever businessman, tried to keep it secret, cleaning up the residual paraffin from the grafted plants, once he started to market them. Of course, he was the only one who could produce some varieties and, for some time, nobody could understand why.
But it was during the Post-War time that the Company had its greatest development. Just like Pistoia, which widened its horizons, the Company became bigger and stronger following the increasing nursery market. Further farms were bought and new varieties planted; the Family Business also received the first export awards, really a great satisfaction for a company which had already become one of the most important realities in the national context of nurseries.
Meanwhile, Giovanni went on revealing to be always in the forefront. He travelled a lot all around the world (as he later declared ‘’I still have to visit just Australi’’), bringing back new techniques and, above all, new varieties to grow. His real passion was indeed for the United States; there he would have loved to live, and there he came back several times.
The Company went on increasing itself and, in 1976, the properties were enlarged till Montecatini by purchasing about 20 hectares of land. In the early 80s, the technique of growing plants in container started spreading all around Pistoia, and also the Family Company conformed to the new trend by dedicating some lands to this technique. However, cultivation in ‘’open land’’ was still the main part of the total business, just as it is today. Moreover Giovanni expanded the Company once again, by purchasing a nursery in San Vincenzo, therefore rising the total cultivated area up to more than 200 hectares.
This choice, which widened the production through growing palm trees and other Mediterranean varieties, revealed once more Giovanni as a pioneer in such commercial strategies, which became usual after a few years. San Vincenzo became his ray of sunshine; there, during his last years, he loved to spend as much time as possible. So many other anecdotes keep going round the figure of Giovanni Arcangeli, farmer of Pistoia and citizen of the World. But to remind them all, the pages of this catalogue would not be enough…