Olivier Filippi's dry garden in France

Reader offer: Private Gardens of Provence holiday

Join experts James and Helen Basson to discover a new approach to gardening in a Mediterranean climate on our reader holiday

The region of Provence, in southeast France, with its long, hot and dry summers provides a wonderful opportunity to learn how to design and plant gardens adapted to such conditions. The landscape remains essentially unchanged: medieval hill towns rise among olive groves and vineyards, and fields of lavender and sunflowers soak up the sunshine. Dusty roads fringed with pines give way to banks of wild cistus, rosemary and thyme. Hidden behind old iron gates or an avenue of ancient plane trees, old country estates have been elegantly rejuvenated in recent years by contemporary designers, creating sensuous gardens, each in its own way responding to the spirit of place and the designer’s eye.


Designers James and Helen Basson show us two of their recent projects for private gardens and introduce us to the legendary Pépinière Filippi nursery near Montpellier, where Olivier Filippi’s experimental techniques in dry gardening have transformed our understanding of Mediterranean gardening practice. Other highlights include the garden designer Dominique Lafourcade’s home La Pomone, in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, and Le Terrain, the garden of artist-tree surgeon extraordinaire, Marc Nucera. Our hotel for the stay is the 5-star Hotel d’Europe, in the historic heart of Avignon.

Booking details

24-28 June 2021

The price per person, based on two people sharing is £3,890 (a single supplement of £490 is levied by the hotel).

The price includes: four nights bed & breakfast at Hotel d’Europe; three evening meals and four lunches, all with local wines; and return flights to Marseille with British Airways. Those wishing to make their own travel arrangements should state this on the booking form and we will deduct £143 per person from the tour price. The price does not include extras or travel insurance.

For more information or to book please contact Boxwood Tours, 1 West Street, Buckingham HK18 1HL.
Tel +44 (0)1341 241717, email mail@boxwoodtours.co.uk

Website boxwoodtours.co.uk

The tour has been arranged exclusively for readers of Gardens Illustrated by Boxwood Tours Quality Garden Holidays, a specialist garden tour company set up in 1990. Please note that itineraries may be subject to change for reasons beyond Gardens Illustrated’s control. The tour is financially protected by the ATOL scheme. When you pay you will be supplied with an ATOL Certificate.

Please ask for it and check to ensure that everything you booked (flights, hotels and other services) is listed on it. Please see our booking conditions for further information or for more information about financial protection and the ATOL Certificate go to: atol.org.uk/ATOLCertificate


Tour leader Kirsty Fergusson trained at Capel Manor. She is now a garden writer living in France. Guest host James Basson lives in the south of France where he and his wife Helen run award-winning Scape Design.