In the footsteps of the cultural manager of the Latour-Marliac garden

Benoit Dubois, cultural manager of the Latour Marliac garden in Temple-sur-Lot, is a nature lover. His daily work is to pamper the plants of this remarkable place in Villeneuvois.

Up very early in the morning, Benoit Dubois, cultivation manager of the Latour Marliac garden, doesn't really have a typical day.

"I go around all the crops. Then I adjust the air conditioning in the exhibition greenhouse and the 3,000 m2 production greenhouse. Then everything is organized according to the weather, the season, etc." explains the head of cultivation while opening the leaves of a greenhouse. The team program is carried out for the week but can be modified according to the hazards.

"We store all tropical water lilies"

The team is made up of a gardener, Thierry, and two people dedicated to preparing shipments, Alexandre and Bartho. Benoît Dubois arrived at the garden classified as remarkable in 2017. Aged 52, a native of Pas de Calais, after his studies, he made his "first arms" for 21 years in Guadeloupe and became director of the botanical garden. Back in mainland France, he was head of cultivation for rare plants, landscaped green spaces and after a stint at Gammvert arrived among the water lilies dear to its current owner, Robert Sheldon.

His day revolves around the maintenance, treatment and regular monitoring (in particular of the pH of the water) of aquatic plants. He knows and detects all diseases, parasites and applies the appropriate treatments to each type of plant.

For Benoit Dubois, "the best treatment is the one that will be as rational as possible so as not to pollute. So, very little fertilizer, organic, of course, but here too in homeopathic doses and not systematically. Thanks to this implementation, we are seeing better plant resistance and a return of batrachians and certain insects that fight bacteria and parasites. They thus protect water lilies and lotuses. Weeds are burned with a blowtorch to avoid using pesticides."

The head of culture is very prolific in this area. He masters all aspects. It turns out to be very good advice for all customers wanting to create their pond of aquatic plants and for those who buy lotuses for cosmetics such as the LVMH group. The latter comes regularly to check the production and helps to protect the batrachians. In winter, the garden closes its ponds to visitors, but the work of the cultivation manager and his team does not stop.

"We store all the tropical water lilies. Only the rhizomes of the hardy ones resist frost and remain in the basins. However, all the basins are cleaned. For some time now, we have noticed a lag in the growth of the lotuses linked to global warming. They are losing roots, grow less high. In addition, we redo the water levels (of the Lot) more often." They also work on the various layouts and layouts of the site. The Latour Marliac garden produces various aquatic plants for sale on site but also by mail order via the website. "Right now, in the evening after our day's work, I am discreet under the arbor. And the fauna is reclaiming the site. The tree frogs are beginning their concert while the egrets and kingfishers come in search of their prey. " Magical moment that Benoit Dubois appreciates at its fair value.