Painted Gardens

by Ariane ~ July 11, 2021

The 2021 exhibition at Musee des Impressionnismes Giverny displays paintings and photographs of gardens, from Monet to Bonnard. Impressionists and Nabis steal the show with gorgeous works full of colors, like this master piece by Monet featuring the garden of his aunt Lecadre.

What to Grow Under Trees

by Ariane ~ June 17, 2021

In the deep shade of trees, it is hard to grow a wonderful lawn. In Monet’s gardens at Giverny, the spot under the tall copper beech had to be sawn anew every year.

This is why the head gardener came to the idea of planting a little moss garden under the old tree. “It is an attempt,” he says. “Let’s wait and see if it works.”

Monet didn’t have any moss garden, as far as we know, but surely he would love the idea: it looks so japanese. This makes it fit perfectly in this corner of the garden surrounded by bamboos, next to the famous footbridge called the Japanese bridge.

Giverny opens on 19th May

by Ariane ~ May 4, 2021

It is now official, Claude Monet’s gardens at Giverny will open on Wednesday 19th May, 2021 at 9.30 am.
It will be the right time to admire roses and water lilies. I can’t wait!

Missing Monet’s Gardens?

by Ariane ~ April 20, 2021

Giverny Monet’s house and flower garden

Are you missing Monet’s gardens at Giverny? So do I! The gates are still locked and will stay so for several more weeks. France is under lock down at least until mid-May. Not to speak about the borders…

I took advantage of the long hours at home last year to sort out pictures taken in the gardens through the seasons. They’ve been turn into a book:

Giverny Photo Book

There is not much to read in this book, the focus is on the pictures. The texts are bilingual in English and French, except for the title 🙂

I’ve found it on amazon.fr. I had to type the title plus the editor, OREP, to get it.

I would be happy to know if Giverny en photos is available where you live. If you can find it on a website, would you please let me know? Merci beaucoup !

In Claude Monet’s Studio

by Ariane ~ December 28, 2020

Claude Monet paid attention to organise a cosy sitting and reading nook in his three studios at his Giverny home. This comfy flowered settee is located in a room called salon-atelier, that’s to say living-room-studio.
After moving his works in process to a larger studio in the corner of the estate, Monet turned the first studio connected with the main house into a place for entertainment.
Monet liked reading aloud for his family, or playing games. This first studio was also a place where he withdrew after lunch or dinner for a little glas of brandy and a pipe or a cigarette. On special occasions, the latter would be upgraded to a cigar. Happy New Year!

Fall Colors

by Ariane ~ October 26, 2020

While trees are changing colors from green to shades of brown and yellow, flowers offer in October fire works of bright and beautiful tones. In Monet’s gardens at Giverny, asters of all kinds steal the show, enhanced by tall yellow helianthus and amazing dahlias. Sages are at their best.

Anyway, after closing day, in November, the gardeners won’t spare any of these beauties. They will rush to clean up the flower beds and plant spring bulbs before it gets cold.

A Heaven of Peacefulness

by Ariane ~ July 21, 2020

The pandemic is clearly a disaster for tourism, but it has some positive effects. At Giverny, the few visitors of 2020 can enjoy Monet’s gardens in a way that had long been forgotten.

Last year had been a new record year with 715 000 visitors coming from all over the world. During the last decade, the painter’s little paradise had won a reputation of being over crowded. If not every day, it was often the case.

This was in the past, up to 2019. The corona changed it all, reducing the number of visitors drastically to a mere 15% of the previous years visits.

Visitors must wear a mask, sure. They must also buy advance tickets on line. A very limited amount of tickets are for sale. And not a single group over 5 people is accepted.

As a result, touring Monet’s gardens and house has never been that comfortable, with nobody to shrub shoulders with. It is all one way to ensure physical distancing. On the way back after walking around the pond, staff help people over the road to the flower garden. Visitors enter the house by the studio, which is great.

When, by any chance, I give a guided tour in the gardens, this year it is always a private tour. It is easy to find a spot where to stay and talk. We take our time. No rush. The gardens are gorgeous.

I’ve been there a dozen of times this year. Instead of around 200 the previous ones, when the gardens opened in March and admitted all the visitors willing to enter.

Each time was a feast. And at the same time it broke my heart, because I can’t live anymore from this job I love.

Monet’s gardens open June 8

by Ariane ~ May 28, 2020

Roses are at their peak at Giverny

At last the date is known: Fondation Monet will open again to visitors within ten days, on Monday June 8 at 9.30 am. Previous purchase of tickets online will be mandatory, and possible from May 29 on. Access will be denied to people without tickets or not wearing a face mask.
Entry will be through the former ‘group entrance’ in Ruelle Leroy. Visitors will have to follow a one way path and keep off from other people (at least 1 meter away). All this sounds only natural and logical due to the pandemic. Good news, guided tours are allowed! Hope to see you soon at Giverny!

This Special 2020 Spring

by Ariane ~ April 26, 2020

While everybody is staying at home, Monet’s garden glows.

The gardeners are the only ones to enjoy the beauty of the tulips.

The weather has been exceptional this month. Since the first self-isolation day on March 17, it has rained only once at Giverny. At night.

The gardeners must water, for flowers wouldn’t stand it that long in the drought. They work as usual, standing apart. A strange mood floats in the air, made of quietness, disappointment and worries. They miss the visitors, they feel concerned by health issues and by the future.

The Foundation Monet won’t accept groups in 2020. When reopening will be allowed, it will be for individuals only. If we look to the bright side of life, we can forecast there won’t be any crowds in Monet’s gardens and house this year, which will make the tour even nicer.

Giverny still closed

by Ariane ~ April 1, 2020

The season’s opening is traditionally April 1st at Giverny, but this year the gardens created by Monet will stay closed, at least until May 1st. Is it necessary to explain why?

There are very few cases of coronavirus in the area, but the rule is the same everywhere in France : we must stay at home.

If the pandemic peak is over by May 1st, it will be in time to see the beauty of the wisteria covered footbridge designed by Monet.

Stay safe and take good care!

Im Monet’s Bedroom

by Ariane ~ February 21, 2020

Claude Monet was a huge fan of Paul Cézanne. When the master of Giverny eventually became successful and rich, he started collecting eagerly the most beautiful works of his less renowned yet 10 year older friend.
Copies of these masterpieces are now exhibited in Monet’s bedroom at Giverny. The originals were either sold by Monet’s son, or now belong to the collections of Musée Marmottan-Monet in Paris.

At the Church of Giverny

by Ariane ~ December 13, 2019

The Sainte-Radegonde Church of Giverny, western side

The church of Giverny is located within walking distance of Claude Monet’s house and gardens, about one kilometer away. It is an excuse for a nice stroll on the main street of the village.

Monet is buried on the eastern side of the church and you will certainly want to stop by at his tomb. You can also enter the church itself, which is well worth a visit. You shouldn’t miss the village’s graveyard on the hillside, especially because of its WWII graves.

The little square on the western side of the church displays a memorial to the soldiers and civilians that fell during the world conflicts. The large stone next to it is known as the Sainte-Radegonde stone. It used to be the top of a menhir built around 2000 B.C. The menhir was Christianised in the 6th Century. It was said to cure skin diseases.

Painting by Petals

by Ariane ~ September 29, 2019

In the impressionist garden of Claude Monet at Giverny, each petal is like some paint on the canvas.

The blue tibouchina is at its best in September. It is grown in a planter as it must be kept in the greenhouse over the winter.

Dahlia Time

by Ariane ~ August 31, 2019

One of the many beautiful dahlias at Giverny

Late summer is a great time of year to visit Giverny, especially because of the fantastic dahlias that are now at their best in the flower beds.

Monet loved dahlias. We know from his step-son Jean-Pierre Hoschedé that he was fond of a variety called ‘Etoile de Digoin’, a starry dahlia that can still be admired in the garden. The gardeners do their best to find old varieties, as far as possible. They also plant lots of modern dahlias, because Monet looked for the newest hybrids of his times.

Dahlias are said to be easy to cross fertilize. Monet himself is supposed to have made an attempt and obtained a new variety – unfortunately it is lost now. Each year new dahlias appear on the market, and they are just amazing. They range from tiny to huge, from one color to several, they have all kinds of petals, of shape, of hues… They play their part in the stunning beauty of late summer at Giverny.

Under the Beech

by Ariane ~ July 28, 2019

The entrance to Monet’s water garden

While many people enjoy being at the beach in August, at Giverny visitors like staying under the beech. The big copper beech planted by Monet is now a mature tree providing a wonderful shade in summer.

From this spot, we cannot see the water lily pond yet. It will appear in a few steps. The famous Japanese bridge painted so often by Monet is just in front of us.