‘You are progressing from mozzarella to a caprese colour now, no longer completely white, now white, red and the greens of the plants’. One of my new work pals in reference to my skin colour as I cook in 38 degree weather.

I am currently working for one of the best nurseries in the world. Vannucci Piante is based in Pistoia, Italy. Pistoia is home to the largest growing area in Europe, roughly 20km long and wide. The surrounding mountains create a microclimate and a shelterbelt allowing them to grow a diverse range of plants and ship to over 60 different countries. Vannucci is around 18 times bigger than The Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh at 535 hectares. This making it one of the largest nurseries in Europe

In 2016 a new plant health centre was opened to expand the focus on safeguarding the plants. A highly specialised group of Phytopathologists monitor the cultivation daily to take prompt targeted action, reducing the impact on the environment and guaranteeing longer lasting results. Research at the universities of Pisa and Florence allows Vannucci to keep up to date any potential hazards.

I will be writing multiple articles on my time in Italy and the flora I encounter. Hoping to pick some unusual plants that us pale faced scots are unfamiliar with. Follow the tag Italian horticulture to see more.