Entries from November 2010

Reflection at Giverny

November 29, 2010

giverny-reflection.jpg The beauty of late season at Giverny relies on the reflections on Monet’s pond.

The surrounding trees turn red, orange, yellow and dip their image into the water.

Their warm colors split in dots of changing shapes form a stunning contrast with the cold blue and perfectly defined leaves of the remaining water lilies.

 This picture was taken one month ago. Now the leaves have been blown away, and Fondation Claude Monet is closed until next 1st April.

Monet’s Chickens

November 13, 2010

monet-chicken.jpg A few steps away from his home at Giverny, Claude Monet had a chicken yard full of hens, and Fondation Claude Monet still keeps a few chickens in this corner of the garden.

Just like Monet, they don’t choose every year the same breed. In 2010, visitors enjoyed looking at the funny Padua chickens, absolutely stylish with their fluffy feathers on the head.

Monet loved to have fresh eggs at hand, and the family must have eaten many every day, according to the storage available: in the pantry of Monet’s house, two boxes could contain 116 eggs!

But hens were not a sign of wealth for a family belonging to the middle upper class, this is why they were hidden in a corner of the garden under a big fig tree. However, their presence was revealed by crowing of the roaster.

Turkeys, on the contrary, were considered decorative fowl and were proudly shown in the turkey yard next to the kitchen.

Nowadays, the turkey yard displays turkeys and chickens together. The roasters of both yards like to have sort of a dialog, exchanging their cock-a-doodle-do. The big roaster in the turkey yard has a deep voice, the Padua roaster in the chicken yard a high pitched one, and when they talk together, they are absolutely irresistible.

I kindly dedicate this post to Cynthia Brian, the “Chicken Lady”, co-author of “Chicken Soup for the Gardener Soul”.

Fusion and Profusion

November 8, 2010

giverny-waterscape.jpg In his water garden at Giverny, Claude Monet planted tall trees like weeping willows, ash trees, chestnut trees, poplars, copper beeches…

They were underplanted by shrubs that offered their interesting foliages, flowers, berries, and scents: roses, tree peonies, azaleas, rhododendrons, viburnums, Japanese maples, ferns…

These shrubs were underplanted by flowers, for example flag irises, to provide a touch of vibrant color.

Thus, Monet created a little world that resembled a clearance in the woods.

 He liked to feel blended with nature. Staring at the reflections of the sky into the pond, he could loose any notion of himself and merge into the waterscape.

Closing Day

November 1, 2010

monet-window.jpg Today was the last day of the season at Giverny.

At 6.00pm, the flags at the entrance gate were taken in for the last time of the year and the last visitor left.

 The shutters of Monet’s home will stay closed tomorrow, while the gardeners will start their rush before frost.

They have to store fragile plants in the greenhouses, and pull out all the flowers to clean the beds and start thinking of next spring. Fall and winter are a busy time for the gardeners!