We have been going to Italy since 2002 to select the best plants for our nursery stock and for individual client projects. Members of the Nursery and Creative Landscape teams go out for 3 days in the summer and one in the winter. It’s a whistle stop tour and “all work” but it would be rude to refuse the Limoncello!
We have a long standing relationship with our Italian growers based on trust and quality. This allows us to work closely with them, ensuring we can deliver the quality and range we know our customers love and expect from us. Whilst we are there we visit the suppliers main Nursery as well as meet and talk to other smaller specialist growers such as Olive growers, Japanese Maple growers, Bamboo specialists and growers that specialise in hedging, topiary and grasses.
The increased light levels in Italy means that plants grow much quicker. This allows our growers to achieve larger plants in a shorter period of time.
The nurseries in this region of Tuscany sit between two mountain ranges and benefit from very fertile soil and a unique micro climate with natural aquifers. Cool winters and long summers with lots of daylight hours promote increased growth rates compared to other locations and hardy plants that we need in our climate.
We are able to hand pick a wide variety of the best plants and develop relationships with specialist growers who understand the quality we need and to get them to grow specific stock in a way we want to supply it.
Why are the plants so special?
Two trips to our grower a year allows us to ensure that quality is maintained from one year to the next but also gives us the opportunity to hand select individual plants. As well as the standard plants produced in the region, we often come across some really unique and exciting individual plant specimens that are only available in small quantities.
All of our specimen Acers are hand selected, giving us a unique control over the stock we offer and allowing us to offer something a little different from our competitors.
Many of the nurseries are run by families who have been producing plants for generations (there are around 2,000). They put their heart and soul into the plants they produce and their lively hoods depend on this. Understanding the provenance of our plants ensures that we can deliver the quality we need and directly support other small businesses.
Here are some photos from various trips to our growers in Pistoia, Tuscany.