Fillipi nursery

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Fillipi nursery
« on: November 11, 2016, 10:41:43 AM »
My husband and I finally made it from the Luberon to the Fillipi garden and nursery - a long drive!  I have had a large area of our land planted as a dry garden for the past 7 years - it now looks truly awful and we are in the process of replanting new beds and will do the same for the dry garden.

I am not a lifelong gardener at all and have been studying gardens and planting to try and understand how gardens in the Luberon work so this is a view from a rank amateur.  I have had the Fillippi book for about 10 years and was incredibly excited about going there.  What a total disappointment - for the following reasons:

First, we went to look at the actual garden belonging to the Fillippis as they have a house at the top end of their nurseries - it looked absolutely miserable.  This was in early September.  In the nursery itself, no-one had time to answer any questions, all were too busy so we took ourselves off to make a full tour of the place.  First thing we noticed was that was a water standpipe at the head of every row of plants!! Second thing we noticed was that several young people scattered around the place were ferociously watering each row of everything!

After about an hour of looking at the plants, we found that they consisted mainly of all the well known 'dry garden' plants and little else - all were well watered.  So we left, I particularly felt dispirited by this.  I certainly have learned more from questions asked to your Society, to the RHS in England (I am a member) and particlarly from the head at Hyde Hall (the RHS dry garden in Essex) whom I emailed for some help with something and got a full reply and advice about 2 days later together with suggestions and telling me where Hyde Hall got various stone mulches in which I was interested.

So we have spent time in October planting a brand new huge bed for which we shall install a sparse 'drip feed' water system in the Spring - it is being hand watered at the moment when needed.  Maybe it won't work and maybe it will - we shall see.  We used two mail order suppliers for our plants: Planfor - which also has a sister site in English for help etc. and once we had compiled our list from there, we ordered and the plants came from the French half - all arrived within 4 days of order in wonderful fresh condition in moist soil and perfectly packed.  The second site we used was Promesse des Fleurs as we wanted a few of a particular plant that Planfor did not carry.  Again, wonderfully quick service, plants in prime condition.  Now we shall wait and see how things go.

Meanwhile, the Mediterranean Society have been very helpful when I have needed advice.  I am not young and neither is my husband so after working hard in the garden planting, both of us are now appreciative of hard gardening is but (if it works!) how satisfying.

Kind regards and thanks to all.

D and D

Joanna Savage

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Re: Fillipi nursery
« Reply #1 on: November 11, 2016, 01:08:59 PM »
In reply to this post I would like to say that I have been buying plants on-line from the Filippi  nursery for  about eight years. At first I used their Guide Catalogue and now I use the web site for the research which is necessary before placing an order. The photographs are particularly helpful. I suppose I must have bought fifty or sixty plants over the years and always they have arrived in excellent condition. The only problem has been with the Italian Couriers who refuse to deliver into the hills. One batch took eight days to arrive, I could have walked the distance faster. However the plants soon recovered and any early losses have been my own fault. Olivier and Clara Filippi have always been most helpful in helping me to track where the plants  were when they were not delivered to me. In short I find their stock of plants most interesting and I will certainly be ordering from them again



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Re: Fillipi nursery
« Reply #2 on: November 13, 2016, 09:51:12 AM »
Helena and I have found this excellent nursery to be very much as Joanna Savage says, and we have had dozens of plants from them over the years, always packed beautifully and arriving in perfect condition, and including interesting plants that we couldn't find elsewhere. The posting that came under that pseudonym (D and D / Roussillon07) reminds us all that really good dedicated nurserymen like the Filippis spend all their time either running their nursery or roaming the world in search of new plants to test and introduce, so it's hardly surprising that their own gardens get neglected (as in that old proverb, "a good cobbler's children are never well shod"). And of course the "Filippi method" entails making sure that newly planted mediterranean-climate plants are watered regularly in their first year or two; and any nursery that didn't make sure that its plants for sale were being watered properly would soon go bust. Less successful nurseries that were less busy would no doubt have staff with more time to talk to inquirers.
Alisdair Aird
Gardens in SE England (Sussex); also coastal Southern Greece, and (in a very small way) South West France; MGS member (and former president); vice chairman RHS Lily Group, past chairman Cyclamen Society