The Italian Almanac


Italian News - July 26

Help will soon be at hand for thirsty trees, dried out grass and parched plants left to wilt and die in the baking August heat as Italians head off on holiday. Dog-sitting schemes have saved thousands of pets and two garden consortiums are now hoping that "plant sitting" could do the same for Italy's domestic greenery.

"Abandoning animals is obviously far more serious but flowers and plants also need help during the summer vacation period," said the FloraSi gardening consortium president, Francesco Bet. "So then we thought, why not try set up this service through local centres? The office would provide plant sitters, able to take care of gardens and house greenery throughout the summer." The sitters, all plant specialists, would operate through gardening centres and local florists. They would not only ensure their leafy charges receive adequate water but would also be on hand to provide extra food and disease or pest treatment if required.

The problem of plant care during the summer months is particularly acute in Italy. As so many people take their vacations at the same time, neighbours and friends are less able to help out than elsewhere. Although the project is still in its planning stages, FloraSi and Federfiori will launch it officially at the Padua International Flower and Gardening Show this September, hoping to bring other sector associations on board.

If all goes well, the scheme should be up and running by next summer.