American plants, that is. I’ve already written about Monet’s lower garden. In trying to write a post about the upper garden, I face a serious challenge. Namely, Judy took exactly 357 pictures, and narrowing those down to a number suitable for a single post is an impossible task.
So, I have chosen to do at least three posts, each on a different aspect of this garden. As I was struck by the prominence of North American plants at Giverny at this time of year, and in particular Sunflowers, Goldenrod, Tithonia (Mexican Sunflower), and New England Aster, that will by my focus.
By September, you get the feeling at the upper garden, also called the Clos Normande, that a fireworks explosion is shooting up and out of the rectangular beds. The Sunflowers, Tithonias, and Goldenrods are an essential part of creating this impression. (I should say, though, that I do not have the species or variety names, so I’ll just be referring to these plants generically.)
They also provide much of the yellow which is a strong presence in the garden at this season.
The Goldenrods are so substantial that they make a strong visual impact even from a distance, like tall golden fountains.
The Sunflowers draw your eyes up to the sky. On the day we visited, it was hot and the heavens were a clear blue.
They also help create the straight paths bordered with yellow blooms that stretch across parts of the garden.
The New England Aster also provides height, but adds cooler blue and purple blooms. The Tithonias contrast nicely with these purple Asters, but are in harmony with the yellow sunflowers and goldenrods.
Do you stake a lot of tall plants in your garden? Perhaps, like me, you have an uneasy feeling that all that staking represents a kind of failure. If we were really skilled gardeners, all our plants would just stand up on their own, or perhaps lean on other plants cleverly placed.
Well, how do you think they keep those Goldenrods and Asters so upright at Giverny? That’s right, with stakes. Fellow stakers, hold up your heads with pride!
Are Sunflowers, Goldenrods, or Asters a big part of your summer or fall garden?
My next post – Giverny in September: The Straight And (Sometimes) Narrow.