What I hadn't realised until recently was that when Monet was painting his water lilies they were such a new botanical phenomenum. Up until around 1880 the only hardy water lilies in Europe were white and it was thanks to the work of a certain Joseph Bory Latour Marliac in South West France that new coloured hybrids were cultivated and first exhibited at the World's fair in Paris in 1889, probably where Monet first saw them.
|tribute to a famous customer!|
The Latour Marliac water lily nursery is still open and now houses the National water lily collection of France in a beautiful garden, it also cultivates water lilies for sale and so with a new pond to stock we set off for a visit yesterday - after all whats good enough for Monet is good enough for me! I could have ordered on line but it was so much nicer to visit and choose from the real thing instead of pictures in a catalogue.
|The terracotta pots are apparently antique |
cassoulet pots which were used to mulitply the lilies
Early May and the flowers are just starting to open and there were plenty to choose from but I'll have to go back later in the year to see the lotus in flower.
service was impressive too. |
After helping us decide on plants suitable for our
pond Mr Sheldon ( the current owner) collected them
out of the ponds, prepared and packaged them.
At lunchtime he had been a waiter in the restaurant!
|So now my pond is stocked with some promising water lily plants|
- it may not be as big as Monet's pond but the lilies came from the same place !