In visiting Latour-Marliac you will find nearly 300 varieties of water lily spread over 1 hectare of cultivation pools. Each variety is also displayed in the historical pools that were built in the 19th century by Monsieur Latour-Marliac, and this display comprises the French National Water Lily Collection. In addition, our visitors also have access to the glasshouse in which reside the giant water lilies and the night-blooming tropical water lilies; the botanical garden with its lawns and gardens, giant bamboo collection, lake, Japanese bridge, koi fountain, waterfall and gazebo. There is a small museum on site that houses documents from our archives, such as Monet's orders, and which describes the life and accomplishments of Monsieur Latour-Marliac and the history of his nursery. Café Marliacea is situated on a small bluff overlooking the lake and waterfall, with the tropical day-blooming water lily collection immediately to one side.
Latour-Marliac was named “Jardin Remarquable” in 2004 by France’s Ministry of Culture and Communications in recognition of the site’s physical beauty and historical significance.
A. The boutique, park entry and exit
B. Café Marliacea - lunch among the tropical water lilies
1. Water Lily Workshop - The area where we prepare and pack water lilies for sale.
2. The glasshouse, where the Victoria, giant Amazonian water lily, is grown alongside our collection of night-blooming tropical water lilies.
3. The historical pools, built by Latour-Marliac in 1870, comprised the original nursery and today house the French National Water Lily Collection.
4. The day-blooming tropical water lily collection. Here you'll see a profusion of blooms with extraordinary colours, including the famous blue varieties.
5. The lotus pools. Stroll among the towering leaves and peony-like blooms of these magnificant plants, known as Nelumbo in botanical terms.
6. The hardy water lily collections, currently at 215 varieties.
7. The Latour-Marliac museum in which Monet's orders are displayed along with other documents, images and objects related to Monsieur Latour-Marliac and his nursery.
8. The rosery, where you can stroll under 50 meters of roses, or just sit in the shade they cast and admire the view.
9. The water lily nursery, with its 65 cultivation pools and many thousands of lilies.
10. The grotto, tucked behind the waterfall, provides a cool resting place and an intriguing underwater perspective on the Victoria.
11. The gazebo, from which sweeping views of the gardens may be had.
12. The bronze statue of Monsieur Latour-Marliac.
13. The fountain, filled with giant Japanese koi, offers a perspective on the village of Le Temple sur Lot and the 12th century bastion of the Knights Templar.
14. The Japanese bridge, an homage to Monet's Giverny.
15. The bamboo forest. There are actually several on the property because, in 1860, Latour-Marliac had the best collection of bamboo in Europe. Today two varieties still carriy his name: Phyllostachys bambusoides 'Marliac' and 'Boryana.'
16. Natural springs - there are over 14 trickling around the property, some of which are slightly thermal.
Bory Latour-Marliac and Claude Monet made the colourful hardy water lily a product of France. The mission of the museum at Latour-Marliac is to preserve and communicate this aspect of horticultural history.
The museum contains a selection of documents from the Latour-Marliac archives, which date from 1881 and part of which includes nearly all of Bory Latour-Marliac’s outgoing horticultural and commercial correspondence. That is, 17,500 pages of correspondence dating from 1881 to 1935, plus photos, other visuals are artefacts from 1881 to the present day.
Found in the archives are exchanges between Latour-Marliac and many of the horticultural luminaries of his time, names like Lebeuf, Jekyll, Robinson, Hudson, Van Houtte and Mazel. Also found are exchanges between Latour-Marliac and notable clients, like Monet, Baronness Orczy, the Counts of Castillon and Noailles, the Baron de Saumaurez, the Olmsted Brothers, and even the Holy See.
The exhibits document the life of Latour-Marliac and the processes by which he created the first colourful hardy water lilies, as well as the particular manner in which he commercialized them and effectively created the market for colourful hardy water lilies and water gardening more generally.
Our collection of hardy and tropicalnymphaea is one of the largest in the world, with over 300 varieties.
The collection exists in order to preserve rare species and antique hybrids, as well as to show the public the incredible diversity of varieties that now exist among the nymphaea
The collection can be found in the old pools that were created by Monsieur Latour-Marliac in 1870, and which constituted the nursery in the early days.
Fashioned in the Art Nouveau spirit of the time, and carefully restored in 2008, the old pools make the perfect setting for these surprising plants.
The National Water Lily Collection at Latour-Marliac is overseen by the Conservatoire des Collections Végétales Spécialisées, which is the equivalent of Plant Heritage, or the National Council for the Conservation of Plants and Gardens, in the UK. To find out more about the CCVS, visit their website (in French): http://www.ccvs-france.org