Monet’s Garden at Giverney

To celebrate her birthday and our anniversary, Judy and I went to Paris for the second week in April. It was great! Neither of us had been there before. The food,the architecture, the street life, the parks, the museums … just a wonderful experience.

I’m planning three posts about the gardens. Judy took over 1,500 pictures, and I’ll write my posts as she sorts through her photos. First, I want to write about one of the most beautiful gardens we’ve ever seen anywhere: Claude Monet’s garden in Giverney, about 50 miles from Paris.

The main allee leading to Monet's house.

What struck me about the main garden was the combination of relaxed exuberance and the formality of straight-lined rectangular beds. Like a combination of cottage garden and parterre. I was also inspired by the mixing of perennials and annuals, and am determined to do the same in my own garden this year. There is just a richness and abundance of color that is hard to describe.

Lots of red and yellow.
Lots of arbors with grape, rose, clematis, and other vines - not yet in bloom when we were there.
Fences made of espaliered apple trees.
Lots of trees in bloom when we were there - crabapple, cherry, plum ...
Meadow-like lawn with white daffodils growing in the lawn.
Monet kept farm animals, and they are still around his garden. These look like a cross between chickens and French poodles.

The second part of the garden is built around a pond that Monet created by damming a small tributary of the Seine.

Monet painted this bridge with the wisteria vines in bloom.
The garden around the pond is influenced by Japanese elements.

Anyone who loves gardens should see this place if they get the chance. It is a joy.

3 Comments on “Monet’s Garden at Giverney

  1. I would love to go there. I first learned about the garden in art class, long before I gardened. Two summers ago we were able to see quite a few of his Giverney inspired water lily paintings at MOMA in NYC. We lingered longer in that room than in any other.

  2. When we were there we were struck by how the garden contained the qualities of his paintings, and were wondering which provided the inspiration for the other.

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