Entries Categorized as 'Giverny'

The Magic of Giverny

August 16, 2022

My brand new book on the beauty and atmosphere of Monet’s gardens at Giverny

I am very proud and over happy to show you my new book The Magic of Giverny, a Year in Claude Monet’s Garden.

It is in the spirit of my French blog, Giverny News: a warm and poetic description of the seasons in the beautiful garden created by the impressionist painter. It is illustrated by tons of photos I took early in the morning, or after closing time, or even in the winter when it snowed.

My friend Vero Stark, a draftswoman, drew lovely sketches of the garden, to give the reader the feeling that s.he is sitting on the bank of the water lilies pond or on a bench in the flowers garden.

The book was published last year in French and sold very well, so this year we can enjoy its English translation made by an American translater named… Catherine Monnet!!! Isn’t it amazing?

The boat in Monet’s garden, Vero Stark, 2021

The Magic of Giverny is published by OREP editions. 96 pages, 18 euros. To have a look inside or to order, click here.

Back to Giverny !

March 26, 2022

Monet’s garden awaits the first visitors of 2022

The sun has been shining on Giverny lately, awakening flowers and buds. Spring is back, and for the first time in three years the Monet gardens are due to open on their usual opening day: April 1st.

We all are super excited ! There is joy and relief in the air, after two long seasons impacted by the pandemic. As I am writing this post, no mask nor vaccination pass are required any more. You can either buy your ticket online or on site, though it is recommended to use e-tickets to avoid waiting in line.

The gardens will be as lovely and stunning as usual, and the Musee des Impressionnismes Giverny treats us with a Monet/Rothko exhibition that will please the many fans of both artists, I hope. The museum opened last week.

Coffee-shops and little restaurants are preparing their open air terrasses, and birds have started their spring concert. Guides, like me, read their notes once again to remember every single detail. In Monet’s gardens, the gardeners hurry to take advantage of the empty garden to finish their winter tasks. Everything will look pristine next Friday ! 🙂

The Musee des Impressionnismes Giverny

January 22, 2022

Giverny, white garden of the Musee des Impressionnismes

While at Giverny, you shouldn’t miss the beautiful ‘Musee des Impressionnismes’, a few steps away only from Monet’s place. Because it has great exhibitions organized with the help of Musee d’Orsay in Paris, the very specialist of this art movement in France. And because of its stunning garden. This is a corner of the white garden at the tulips time, mid or late April, with the backdrop of blossoming cherry trees.

This year the season will start on March 18, 2022 with an exhibition I am already eager to see: Monet / Rothko. It should be an uplifting feast of colors. (up to July 3, 2022). It will be followed on July 14 by The Collection’s Summer, up to October 2, 2022.

Ariane Cauderlier

A Heaven of Peacefulness

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.

This Special 2020 Spring

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

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!

At the Church of Giverny

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.

Giverny opens on 22nd March

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!

Giverny Late May

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.

Giverny as Silent as a Cat

January 31, 2018

giverny-cat-road

The little triangular roof you can spot in the distance is the bell tower of Giverny’s church. This cat is crossing the main road, chemin du Roy, without any fear from cars and buses. Sunset is a peaceful time in Claude Monet’s village, just like winter. 

In French the expression for ‘there isn’t a soul’ is ‘il n’y a pas un chat’, there isn’t a single cat. You could say ‘il n’y a pas âme qui vive’, not a living soul, but it is elevated language. 

Actually sunset and winter are the best time for cats to live their own life at Giverny, when the streets are theirs again. They all belong to somebody – no wild turned cats here, as it may be the case in cities, but cats roaming and exploring their territories.   

giverny-cat-wall

They are wonderful to look at. They are fabulously supple, bouncy, capturing with their eyes, nostrils and whiskers details we have no idea about. They stop unexpectedly in their walk, watching. They jump to the top of the wall, they walk along like a funambulist. They feel at home everywhere, including in Monet’s gardens.

Giverny Just Before Closing Time

November 6, 2017

last-roses

Giverny has been closed since the 1st of November 2017. Claude Monet’s house and gardens will reopen on the 23rd of March 2018.

The last day, I went photo hunting for the last flowers. That’s a special kind of safari, totally harmless but I found it exciting. These roses are my best prey. Yes, there are still a few roses in Fall at Giverny, as long as it doesn’t freeze. Sometimes they last up to Christmas. 

An ATM at Giverny

July 24, 2017

atm-giverny

A cash dispenser has been recently installed at Giverny. It is located just after the museum of impressionisms in the direction to the church. On the left side of the picture you can see the school of Giverny in the background.

The banking machine is user friendly. The instructions are available in many different languages. I tested it, it works!

The cashpoint replaces a phone box that is of no use anymore since everybody has a mobile phone. 

Edit 2022: the ATM is now at the bakery, farther away in the direction to the church.

June Among Roses at Giverny

June 23, 2017

giverny-roses17

Monet’s garden at Giverny mid-June. Click to enlarge.

In June, roses blossom in every gardens, and especially in Monet’s flower garden at Giverny. The painter loved to trim them along trellises of all kinds, tripods, arches, or these big mushrooms that are so iconic for Giverny. 

June is also the time for poppies and alliums, the big round shaped garlic flowers. Not to mention the huge pigamon, aka thalictrum aquilegifolia, that looks like mauve powder. The garden is full of pinks, reds and purples.

Summer will turn it yellow. Can you see the big leaves in the foreground of the pic? Sunflowers are growing now, to surprise visitors with their dinner plate golden flowers in a month.  

Reflections at Giverny

May 14, 2017

water-garden-giverny

The bamboos reflection on Claude Monet’s water lily pond at Giverny adds a lot of interest to the scene, thanks to their moving lines. Their slow motion is quite hypnotic for the viewer, and their geometric aspect contrasts with the other plants all around. 

Giverny Beauties

April 28, 2017

japanese-bridge-giverny

Spring makes us all want to walk in beautiful gardens. At Giverny, azaleas and tulips gradually give way to irises, peonies and wisterias. The first water lilies should open within two weeks, recreating once more Monet’s beautiful setting and endless source of inspiration.  orange-tulip-bed-giverny

In the flower garden, visitors meander inside of a living painting where flowers recreate the illusion of brushstrokes. Monet had good reasons to claim that his garden was his most beautiful masterpiece.

fringed-tulips

Just like you can see the brushwork when you tour an exhibition and have a close look at paintings, at Giverny each single flower is a little universe in itself, offering its beauties to our admiration.