Giverny opens on 22nd March

by Ariane ~ March 4, 2019

Monet’s flower garden at Giverny, France in April

The first flowers are opening at Giverny! And so will Monet’s gardens and house very soon. Christmas roses, pansies, jonquils, daffodils, hyacinths and more are among the early spring flowers. They give colors to Monet’s living painting, his own garden. I’m looking forward to seeing the 2019 show prepared by the 11 gardeners. Hope to see you too in the alleys!

Sunrise on the River Seine

by Ariane ~ January 21, 2019

One of the joys of winter is that Nature schedules its sunrise show at a decent morning time. This is River Seine at Vernon and Giverny at about 8.30 am in January. Claude Monet would have loved it.

Happy New Year !

by Ariane ~ January 1, 2019

cross-stitch-monets-house

This unique cross stitch work features Monet’s house at Giverny. I shot it at an exhibition organised by a group of cross stitchers from Vernon. To see all the details, click to enlarge. 

For 2019, I wish you a lot of time to do all what you’ve been wanting to do for a long while. It may be sitting next to the fire place embroidering or organizing your next holiday… Enjoy this new year!

Asters and More

by Ariane ~ November 27, 2018

Asters

In Claude Monet’s garden, it is all about colors. Petals are used like paint, like brushstrokes, to give the illusion of an impressionist painting in which we can walk.

In October and November, asters are at their best at Giverny, creating masses of little starry flowers. They mate with many other late bloomers such as sages, love lies bleeding, garden chrysanthemums or dahlias of all kind, showing that autumn too is a great season for flowers. 

Still So Beautiful in October

by Ariane ~ October 22, 2018

giverny-pond-october

Claude Monet’s water lily pond is especially gorgeous right now in October. 

giverny-october-flowers

And flowers as high as walls grow in the flower garden. (click to enlarge)

Giverny is open 7/7 until November 1st. Monet’s house and gardens will close for the winter on November 2.  

Clerodendron

by Ariane ~ October 3, 2018

clerodendron-bungei

This beautiful shrub grows in Claude Monet’s flower garden. It has not been planted for many years, so I wondered what could be the name of this new comer. I browsed the internet eagerly, without any success.

The next day, by chance, I found it. I was sipping an expresso on the terrasse of  La Capucine, a coffee-shop at Giverny that also sells plants, when my eyes got caught by this big flowery plant that was displayed in the distance. I jumped out of my seat, rushed to the pot, read the label, ‘Clerodendron’ ! It is such a joy when you experiment in your own life the help of up there.  Now I’m posting in order to share and not to forget. 

Monet’s Little Japanese Bridge

by Ariane ~ July 24, 2018

monet-little-bridge

This charming little bridge stands at one end of Claude Monet’s water lily pond in Giverny, over the small canal that used to bring some water into the pond. Agapanthus grown in planters and white hydrangeas cultivated like trees grace the place. Does this scene look familiar to you? It recalls many famous works of the artist. But as iconic as it sounds, Monet never painted this little bridge in his garden, but the big one only. Now covered with a canopy of wisterias, the big bridge has lost some of its likeness with Monet’s paintings.  

The Tour de France in Vernon!

by Ariane ~ July 10, 2018

tour-de-france

On July 14 the Tour de France is passing through Vernon. The bridge over the Seine will be closed until 2.00 pm.

As Light As a Sparrow

by Ariane ~ June 11, 2018

sparrow

If we were as light as a sparrow, we would be able to hold on to flower stems like this little guy on an allium in Claude Monet’s garden at Giverny. 

Giverny Late May

by Ariane ~ May 28, 2018

giverny-late-may

The folly of late May in Claude Monet’s garden at Giverny. 

Purple flowers: iris, ladies rocket, alliums, roses Rhapsody in Blue.

Yellow flowers: iris, euryops.

Do Foxes Wear Gloves?

by Ariane ~ May 16, 2018

foxgloves

Monet’ house at Giverny, mid-May. Click to enlarge. 

Some flower names sound really strange, like foxgloves. These tall and beautiful flowers (also called digitalis) photographed here at the top of the main alley in Claude Monet’s flower garden like the shade of the two old yews. Under the dark branches, they feel at home, as if they had just escaped from a wood. They thrive in the forests of Normandy, wherever the soil is acidic enough. 

With their spiky shape they resemble fairy hats, what leads us to the origin of their common name. According to a friend of mine, foxgloves derive from folks gloves, these folks being the fairies, of course. I don’t know if it’s true, but I like this explanation…

Cows in the Mist at Giverny

by Ariane ~ May 8, 2018

cows-giverny

Just before sunrise, a light mist arises from the meadows of Giverny and Vernon. Cows that stay outside from April to November are already eating their breakfast. Different breeds can be found in the same herd. The ones pictured here are Rouges des Prés, which means Reds of the Meadows, formerly called Maine-Anjou after a region in the Loire valley.

Three weeks ago they were brought to the field by trucks, together with the calves. The young ones had never seen anything else than the stable. They looked excited, running around like children in the schoolyard. When you watch them, you cannot help but share their joy. They have now calmed down, though their motions are still more lively than those of their mothers. 

I can see the cows through the window when I look up from the screen of the computer. They are very familiar neighbors, but one day they surprised me. Two teams were playing soccer in the football field nearby. The cows probably wondered what happened. They lined along the fence and watched. Or maybe they just wanted to know who was going to win. 

The Tulips of Giverny

by Ariane ~ April 23, 2018

tulips-monet-house

The name of Monet and his garden at Giverny evoke specific flowers: water lilies, wisterias, irises in large rows… It rarely brings up images of tulips. The big tulip show of April is a surprise to many visitors. 

Tulips in Monet’s times were not yet what they are now, but Monet planted them and painted them, especially on the dining-room doors of his art dealer Paul Durand-Ruel. They are so colorful and charming that a painter can only fall under their spell. 

10 000 bulbs are planted yearly in Monet’s gardens at Giverny. During the first weeks after the opening, they pop out of the ground, form their thick buds and open all of a sudden at the first ray of sunshine. It is like a canvas suddenly covered by paint, each of them being a brushstroke. It may be the time of year when the feeling of walking in a painting is at its strongest in the flower garden designed by Claude Monet. 

Giverny’s Fragrance

by Ariane ~ April 7, 2018

giverny-april2018

The blooming of hyacinths is the sign that Spring has arrived at last. In Monet’s garden they are planted by hundreds. They are beautiful for their colors ranging from white to pale yellow, pink, purple, blue and even almost black, but to tell the truth it is their scent that makes them irresistible.

If we humans would wear that much perfume, it would be a nuisance for people next to us. However, for flowers, rules are different. The more fragrance the better.

We love walking or sitting in an air that is full of their delicious smell. Spontaneously we close the eyes to concentrate better on this experience. Colors forgotten, it is a treat to be nostrils only, taking in the best of springtime.

The Turret Castle and ‘People’

by Ariane ~ March 15, 2018

Turret Castle of Vernon and People Sculpture

Near the bridge on the Seine in Vernon, the turret castle dates back to the 12th century. Next to it, the modernity of a  sculpture in galvanized steel creates a strong contrast. This group called ‘People’ was granted to the town of Vernon by its designer, Olivier Gerval, in 1998.