Looking for quality soil supplier Herault

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coubras

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Looking for quality soil supplier Herault
« on: November 04, 2019, 11:40:42 AM »
Dear all,

First I would like to say hello as I am a newbie in this forum :D.

We recently bought a house in Sète (France - Hérault 34) and the garden was non existant so we are starting the very exciting process of creating our little patch of heaven.
We are on the Mont St Clair on a patch of rock and have very little soil depth so we have created some raised bed and I am now looking for soil to fill them up.

There seem to be plethora of suppliers but I am quite doubtful about the quality of the soil supplied.
I am therefore looking for advices about what to look for as well as contacts of good suppliers if anybody in the form knows any.
We are still quite novice but we want to create a water-wise Mediterranean garden with drought tolerant perennials and schrubs. The soil in our garden is rocky, sandy and alkaline.

Thanks in advance for your help!!

Coubras

David Dickinson

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Re: Looking for quality soil supplier Herault
« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2019, 02:41:29 AM »
Hi and welcome to the forum.  :)

I asked the same question in Rome a few years ago and was met with total incredulity. Why on Earth would anybody, even a crazy old Englishman, want to pay for soil! The best suggestion anybody gave me was go to a large building site and offer a sum of money to the workers there to fill up a truck and drop it off at my house on their way home. I never did but neither did I find a supplier of topsoil.

Hope you have better luck than me.
I have a small garden in Rome, Italy. Some open soil, some concrete, some paved. Temperatures in winter occasionally down to 0°C. Summer temperatures up to 40°C in the shade. There are never watering restrictions but, of course, there is little natural water for much of June, July and August.

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Alisdair

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Re: Looking for quality soil supplier Herault
« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2019, 09:11:35 AM »
Looking at photos of Mont St Clair it seems as if the harsh conditions are a bit similar to those in our steep garden in Greece, which also has a very thin-to-nonexistent topsoil. Yet we find that many attractive Mediterranean plants succeed in rooting well into the rocky substrate, particularly lentisks, phillyreas, Lavandula dentata (especially the cultivar 'Dusky Maiden'), a wide variety of cistuses and rosemaries. South African bulbs also do well, as do the standard ground covers like osteospermums. Many of the plants sold by Olivier Filippi from his nursery in Mèze just across the bay from you should flourish with you, even without added topsoil. Filippi's books are full of good advice about getting great results from conditions like your own. (In one part of our garden we did add a load of topsoil but honestly have not found that nearly as satisfactory as the natural state of the main part - but if you do want to make some use of added topsoil I can't think of anything better than the advice given to David Dickinson.)
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

coubras

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Re: Looking for quality soil supplier Herault
« Reply #3 on: November 06, 2019, 08:22:12 AM »
Thank you all for your feedback!

Thanks Alidstair for the all the suggestions. We have indeed bought two of Filippi's books and have purchased a number of plants from him already. We have in fact planted a few of your suggestions in the garden so I guess we are on the right track!
The raised bed we created still need to be filled at this stage and if I manage to find a good supplier, I will post his details. Fingers crossed!


Umbrian

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Re: Looking for quality soil supplier Herault
« Reply #4 on: November 07, 2019, 07:23:56 AM »
Welcome to the Forum Coubras - good to have a new contributor and especially one who seems to be embracing the concept of Mediterranean gardening so well. Good luck with all your efforts and keep us informed of your progress- successes and failures!
MGS member living and gardening in Umbria, Italy for past 19 years. Recently moved from my original house and now planning and planting a new small garden.

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Fermi

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Re: Looking for quality soil supplier Herault
« Reply #5 on: November 07, 2019, 11:29:43 AM »
Welcome, Coubras.
I've found that bringing in soil usually means bringing in problems, especially weed seeds.
We buy in compost, sand and gravel and use that to build up the soil that is already here.
Years ago when I lived in an outer suburb of Melbourne with a garden with terrible soil I got a friend who cut lawns to drop off his bags of grass and spread them over the backyard. After 12 months we had the most amazing soil!
cheers
fermi
Mr F de Sousa, Central Victoria, Australia
member of AGS, SRGC, NARGS
working as a physio to support my gardening habit!