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Monet’s Water Lilies and the Suffolk Connection

Lecture by Caroline Holmes, Independent scholar and garden historian

University of Suffolk at West Suffolk College are excited to announce a brand new public lecture series with speakers covering a wide range of topics. For further info email

Wednesday, 31 January 2018,
18:00 to 19:00
Room E1.01 in the University building, West Suffolk College, Out Risbygate

Long before Mendel’s work was known, Bory Latour-Marliac (1830-1911) engineered daring water lily couplings with consummate skill, meticulous care and acute observation.

His previously unrecorded letters reveal a horticultural world wide web into which he launched his finest hardy hybrids. Key to his best customer base – Britain - was through James de Saumarez of Shrublands Park, Suffolk and William Robinson.

Not only did Monet’s plants also come from Latour-Marliac's nursery but it can be argued that they inspired his water landscapes. Historic, Impressionist, commercial and contemporary, the good news is that Latour-Marliac's nursery thrives today.

Caroline Holmes lectures, writes and broadcasts on the history of gardens.  She has won national and international acclaim in each of these roles.  In 2012 her book Impressionists in their Gardens was shortlisted for the Garden Media Guild ‘2012 Inspirational Garden Book of the Year Award’.  She published Water Lilies and Bory Latour-Marliac, the genius behind Monet’s Water Lilies  in 2015 and in 2017 received the Elizabeth Crisp Rea Award  from The Herb Society of America.