Thierry Derbez, President of the Derbez Group ‘Plant Antiquarian’
Nature and plant lover, Thierry Derbez is the head of one of the most important landscape studies in France as well as a wholesale nursery owner known across the world.
-What has been your journey ?
I am self taught. I left school very early to work next to my parents who were gardners and landscapers. In 1981, I created my own company and at first I worked alone as an artisan gardener. Later I recruited staff as the demand grew. In 1989, I settled in Saint-Tropez where we are currently located. I purchased a hectare of land to start and now I own 13 in total.
-What has contributed to your success ?
One of our specialties is that we offer 90% rare plants in our nursery including thos you can’t find everywhere. I own 7 nurseries in France and one in Spain to make 45 hectares of nursery in total. We have a variety of rare plants as well as known trees like oaks, olive trees, or pine trees. The idea is to work in a different way than other nurseries.
-How do you distinguish yoruself from other nurseries ?
I spot many plants in France and abroad whether in nature or at other nurseries. I travel tens of thousands of kilmoeters a year to look for plants so that I can have a nice selection. I am also surrounded by two specialized teams who help find interesting new subjects all over the world. What makes us differernt is our way of working with the plant. We do many things by hand so that the plant has less stress and trauama. When the plants arrive, we treat them with the best fertilizer and watering methods. We sometimes grow plants for up to 10 year before selling them. It is an added value that we bring to the plant and which has made us high end. Today we have more than 20,000 trees in stock which is the biggest stock of its kind in France and Europe.
-Do you also act as an advisor for your clients ?
Yes, of course. When a client comes to purchase something, we go there to see the ground and location. It will not be possible to plant a lemon tree in the north or during mistral for example. We lead the client to the best choice based on their location. Once the tree is planted, we can also maintain it. We bring a care to our service and we are one of the only nurserues to guarantee our plants and trees.
-What are your future projects ?
We plan to create a landscape center, a year around showroom that is slated to open in 2017. We are constructing more than 6200m2 in buildings where we will have plants and trees as well as garden decor. It is going to bring a big sales boost to the companies that will be represented there incuding high end artisans who specialize in gardening and exterior decor. It is a unique concept in Europe
-What are you other passions ?
I have a passion for wine which led me to create the Da Vinci Code cellar in 2011 in Saint-Tropez. I started very early with this as well. From age 11, I played with the idea of having a collaborative wine cellar. The Da Vinci Code is today one of the most beautiful of its kind in the south of France. We have more than 35,000 bottles in stock and more than 2500 different wines from all over the world.
-What is your life motto ?
‘It is only from the valley that we find the mountain high’. It is something I remind myself of so that I can keep advancing and so that I am not afraid of failure !