Water lily

You cannot mention Giverny without instantly thinking of water lilies. These freshwater flowering plants come from the Nymphaeaceae family and Claude Monet kept that Latin name in reference to the water creatures, nymphs, rather than using the standard French word ‘nénuphars’. With their white, red and pink colours and changing reflections on the water’s surface, water lilies were Monet’s final great pictorial passion.

They were extremely high maintenance and several gardeners were given the daily task of tending to them.

See them

You can see them in real life from June to September in the Japanese garden and in their monumental, painted version year round at Musée de l’Orangerie.

Grow them
Plant them in 30-50 cm deep water and leave them to bloom. Sunshine is essential if you want to enjoy more flowers for as long as possible. Water lilies hate currents and generally prefer water above 16°C for flowering. They disappear under the water in winter and wait for the spring warmth before reappearing.