Category Archive: Lotus Watergardens

Kitagawa Village “Monet’s Garden” Japan.

By Bonnie-Marie Hibbs.

I have been very fortunate over the years to explore many gardens throughout Japan. This was my seventh time to Japan and you would think after this many visits that I would have seen it all. But the wonderful thing about the gardens, parks and landscapes in Japan is that they are always breathtakingly beautiful. You can never get tired looking at the scenery in this part of the world. However, on this trip I wanted to stay further away from the big bustling cities. I hid in small mountainous town surrounded by stunning views and sapphire rivers; this town is called Otoyo-Cho which is located in Nagaoka District, Kochi Prefecture.

During my time in Otoyo I spent a lot of my time adventuring out on long day drives to explore temples, shrines and a few gardens. One of the most memorable gardens I visited was in Kitagawa Village called ‘Monet’s Garden’. This garden was a 3 hour drive from where I was staying, and after a long car drive I was excited to get out and explore.

These gardens have been inspired and designed to recreate Monet’s “Water Lilies” garden. The water lilies are the star in many of his famous paintings. The large pond is the main attraction which draws gardeners from all across Japan to come visit. The colourful blooms of the water lilies sit proudly atop of the water surface, which are best viewed during the day before the flowers close in the evening. The gardens sit nestled amongst the mountains and the rolling hills add another layer to the romantic and tranquil atmosphere of this garden.

Every garden-bed border was smothered in colourful blooms such as Viola, Sweat Pea, Oenothera, Achillea, Poppies and many more amazing plants! The Hippeastrums flowers were the size of dinner plates and the vibrancy of the flowers were unbelievable! If you find yourself in this part of the world I would highly recommend taking the time to take a look at this garden and take in the beautiful scenery.

By Bonnie-Marie Hibbs – the Gardeners Notebook

Monet’s Garden at The National Gallery of Victoria

By James Wall, Nurseryman.

Venue: National Gallery of Victoria.

Yesterday I had the pleasure of attending the Monet’s Garden exhibition, devoted to Claude Monet’s iconic garden at Giverny, France.

Upon entering the first room, For some reason I suddenly felt overcome with tingles and shivers down the back of my spine. I am not an art buff, but  could sense this was something special. One of the very first paintings I looked at was of creamy white clematis with a smudges of green. The colours seemed to melt together. I knew then that I was in for a treat.

Other wonderful paintings of plants included ‘orangey red’ day lilies and yellow iris. These were both planted near the edge of his pond. Of course in the pond were the famed water lilies that he painted again and again, even destroying some paintings he felt were over-worked. The pond was something he created when he moved into his home in Giverny, a place about 80km from Paris. There he created a wonderful garden and took an avid interest in flowers and also a large vegetable garden. There was something to paint for all seasons.

Monet loved and grew many different types of water lilies. Some of them, like the tropicals,  he even removed and put in a special greenhouse over winter to protect them. The most common water lily in France was the simple white form. Monet saw the new coloured hybids shown by the Bordeaux botanist Joseph Bory Latour-Marliac, and in 1894 ordered three varieties from him. Monet experimented with growing tropical and cold climate varieties. He had particular success raising blue cultivars from South America and white Egyptian types with external pink petals and and yellow lilies that blushed to red as they aged.

Water lilies with leaves of the willow tree dangling down.

Claude Monet: “Now I really feel the landscape. It’s enchanting, its delicious”

As Monet’s sight failed, you could see some of frustration on canvas, while painting roses bushes in his garden. I think he had an operation which improved his vision, and then you saw variations in colours from the same scenes he had earlier painted. There was also a scrumptious painting of the classic wysteria, framed narrow but wide. Some of his canvasses were enormous.

We returned to the exhibition after some lunch and again I felt some underlying exhilaration. I think to see such a master’s work and to know he loved meeting botanists and nurseryman really appealed to me. Oh and of course his paintings aren’t too bad either !

The exhibition is on until September 8th and the cost is $26 for adults and $10 children. This includes a short movie of Monet’s actual garden in Giverny. This is displayed on a curved screen.

According to our own water lily experts at Lotus Watergardens, winter is a time to clean up the water lilies, removing all dead foliage. These are often quite slimy and gooey. I am sure Claude would have used his row boat for this job. The lilies can also be fed with a fertiliser tablet in September, and if large enough, re-potted. For more information, get down to Lotus Watergardens here at Gardenworld and see them potting water lilies right now…..and for a little bit of winter colour, why not plant some Water Hawthorn. I am sure it would make Monet proud.

Water Hawthorn

New ‘yellow’ goldfish at Lotus Watergardens

Yellow comet

In 1162 A.D. the Chinese Emperor issued a ban that restricted anyone but the royal family from keeping these yellow fish.

The orange variations were however still allowed. According to ancient Chinese literature, the other colour variations that occurred were first recorded in 1276 A.D.

This fancy tailed yellow goldfish is believed to have originated during the Ming Dynasty. It wasn’t until over 200 years later that the fish were able to be introduced to Japan, where it became highly popular and new Japanese versions of the goldfish were eventually created.

You too can own the Emperor’s yellow comet goldfish which are on sale now at Lotus Watergardens, but you’ll have to be quick as they are proving extremely popular.

Yellow comets


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