In the southwest of France – as opposed to the rest of the country that goes now through an unusually wet season – the annual “Rendez-vous aux jardins” – “Meeting in the garden” – event benefitted this year from warm, sunny weather. I took advantage of the “Ouverture exceptionnelle ” – “Exceptional opening” – , the reduced entrance price and of course of nice weather after a cloudy, rainy May month, the rainiest since 1872!, to visit the garden of Cauzac Castle and the “Latour-Marliac” water garden, both situated in the Lot-et-Garonne department.
“Latour-Marliac”, bearing the “Remarkable Garden” distinction, was founded in 1875 by horticulturist Joseph Bory Latour-Marliac. It is an enchanted, water lily garden/nursery with its own cascade, pond and Zen oasis (and an open air cafeteria!).
The garden came to prominence in 1889 when during the Universal Exhibition of Paris, – which inaugurate also the Eiffel Tower – the hybrid multicolored water lilies of Joseph Latour-Marliac won the first prize in their category. What was more was that the flowers caught the attention of painter Claude Monet, who ordered for his garden, water lilies from Latour-Marliac. The rest is history; the lilies were immortalized in the artist’s now famous 8 oil paintings known under the name of “Water Lilies” (Les Nymphéas) exposed at the Musée de l’Orangerie in Paris.
The fame of the garden became such that nowadays it is estimated that 70% of the water lilies grown around the world have their ancestors in the nursery of Lot-et-Garonne!
The Cauzac Castle – a private property listed in the “Patrimoine de France” (France Heritage) – opened its gates exceptionally for the annual “Rendez-vous aux jardins”. The castle dating from the Middle Ages, but extensively refurbished in the early eighteenth century, has an outstanding rose garden that was open for visits.
Hi, I am Carla. I am living and working in the beautiful city of Toulouse, France.
I like history, travel and... the southwest of France and try to share through this blog information about events that might be of interest to the travelers to this part of the world!