Entries from May 2009

Gardener at Giverny

May 14, 2009

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How many gardeners are there at Giverny to tend Monet’s garden, is one of the questions visitors ask most often.

The five acre garden is maintained by eight gardeners.

Some visitors don’t believe me: eighty? they repeat, unsure they have heard well. No, eight only. They do a fantastic job.

In the garden, flowers are changed twice or thrice a year, according to the seasons. When spring flowers are spent they are replaced by summer flowers. This enormous task enables the garden to look very different through the seasons. Spring flowers are small, whereas summer flowers are giant, as tall as sunflowers.

In November all the flowers are pulled out again, the planting of the spring bulbs will take several weeks. The very skilled gardeners of Monet’s estate have a lot of work to do during the winter also, while the property is closed for five months.

In addition, most of the flowers are self produced in greenhouses located in the village of Giverny. This keeps several gardeners busy year round.

It is a hard job to be a gardener in heaven.

Tulips

May 2, 2009

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What would be Spring without tulips? They illuminate April in Monet’s garden at Giverny.

According to the head gardener, the  list of the varieties displayed in the garden is very long: several hundreds of types of tulips make the Clos Normand sort of a flower show.

It is unbelievable how different the tulips can be. Their colors range from pure white to almost black red, from light pink to deep purple, from pale yellow to bright orange. They can be ridiculously tiny, or incredibly tall. Some are classically round shaped, other ones look like stars, or are as twisted as a flame. The parrot tulips seem tightly shut jaws.

But all of them have this silky quality of petals that reminds of the shine of skin, enhanced by dew in the morning sunshine.