Thursday, 9 May 2013

Monet and me

I love Monet's paintings but most of all I love his house and garden at Giverny. I've been twice and look forward to more visits. Granted it's always too crowded with tourists but that's hardly surprising when it is so beautiful and the history is so fascinating. The whole garden is just beautiful and of course the water gardens are stunning.

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.

The personal 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 !



  1. Am so envious of your pond. Ours is just a hole in the ground at the moment, so much room for improvement there!

  2. thanks Vera - we have had the hole in the ground plus a pile of rocks for two years so its great to see it finished - I bet yours will be huge and full of swimming ducks!