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Latour-Marliac where Monet’s water lilies were grown

Bright green wooden bridge over a lily pond, similar to the one at Monet's garden in Giverny

Latour-Marliac is one of the most unique and special plant nurseries and gardens in France. It’s where the water lilies which inspired Claude Monet were grown and where to this day, this exotic plant is revered. When you’re in the area of Temple-sur-Lot, Lot-et-Garonne, southern France, it’s an absolute must-visit destination.

Latour-Marliac | Claude Monet’s inspiration

A beautiful yellow house in front of which are hundreds of terracotta bowls of lilies

Did you ever wonder where Claude Monet got his lilies from? Well, this enchanting nursery, dedicated to the exotic water plants holds that honour and you can still visit it to this day.

The nursery was begun in 1875 by Joseph Bory Latour-Marliac, the son of a farmer, he was passionate about horticulture, especially water lilies. In 1889 he exhibited a collection of water lilies ranging in colour from delicate yellow to deep red, at the World Fair in Paris, winning first prize in the flower category. Monet, who had by then become impassioned with gardening at his home in Giverny, Normandy, was entranced by the colourful water flowers and ordered some. They were to become some of the most famous flowers every painted, inspiring Monet’s Les Nymphéas series.

Latour-Marliac today

Giant water lily leaves float serenely on a pond surrounded by green bamboo

The gardens of this unique nursery are today classified “remarkable garden” status. Covering 2.5 hectares with an exotic greenhouse, giant water lily, beautiful historic ponds created in the 19th century. There are more than 300 types of water lilies and a Japanese bridge – an homage to Monet’s garden at Giverny. Apart from the water lilies there is also a bamboo forest, waterfall, fountain and koi pond. Latour-Marliac also developed the largest collection of bamboo in Europe. Two varieties that he introduced still carry his name: Phyllostachys bambusoides ‘Marliacea’ and Phyllostachys nigra ‘Boryana’.

There’s a small museum where Monet’s orders can be seen, restaurant and bar at the nursery. It’s a wonderful place for gardeners, Monet fans and anyone who loves beautiful gardens and plants.

Take a tour of Latour-Marliac

Sue Aran at French Country Adventures offers tours of the gardens. You’ll discover more about the history of water lilies and of the connection with Monet. You’ll also find out how the great British gardener and writer Gertrude Jekyll placed orders here. As well as the Russian writer Tolstoy and even the Vatican. Latour-Marliac’s lilies have been world famous for more than 150 years.

Included in the tour is lunch at the terrace café overlooking the pond, a truly captivating spot to enjoy the lilies.

For more details and to book your Latour-Marliac tour: www.frenchcountryadventures.com

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