Entries Categorized as 'Giverny'

June Among Roses at Giverny

June 23, 2017

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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

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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

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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.

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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.

 

It Is Not Easy To Look Random

March 8, 2017

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What is so different and appealing with Monet’s flower garden is its very natural look. The gardeners apply themselves to avoid that flowers seem regimented.

It is not as simple as it sounds. We as humans have a tendency to organize. Spontaneously, unconsciously, what we do and make turns out to be regular.  

One of the gardeners’ trick for planting bulbs randomly is to throw them on the ground, the bare ground of late Autumn. Where the bulb fell, there it is planted.

This tip works for camassias or tulips. Biennals are planted by color patches that combine different varieties, wallflowers, pansies, violas…  Sizes, shapes and hues of the same color help creating the impressionist brushstrokes feeling.  

Monet’s Garden

February 6, 2017

Claude Monet's Garden at Giverny

The beautiful water garden created by the impressionist master Claude Monet at Giverny still inspires painters.

Monet’s house and gardens will re-open on March 24, 2017. I’m looking forward to it. It is such a joy to work daily in this beauty giving guided tours to wonderful people. I miss flowers so much. What about you?  

Happy New Year from Giverny

January 6, 2017

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I wish you a joyful and peaceful, lovely and happy, awesome and handsome year 2017. 

Hoping to see you in Giverny this year.

Monet’s gardens are still closed, but the sky does its great show. I can’t get enough of it. Do you like sunrises and sunsets too?

The old year has set, the new one is rising, full of hope. Bonne année !

Giverny’s Water Garden

September 2, 2016

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Early in the morning, the rising sun shines through the foliage in Monet’s water garden at Giverny, in a corner that is shaded the rest of the day.

The War Grave of Giverny

June 10, 2016

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In the cemetery of Giverny, a grave indicated by British flags stands out. “These seven air men fell and were buried together”, it says. Seven plaques with a personal sentence remember their names. These young men were flying a Lancaster that was hit by the DCA and fell in the fields not far from the Seine river, the day after D-Day (7th June 1944). A photo taken probably shortly before they died shows them all.

The tomb is much visited. People leave stones, or flowers like the paper poppies.  On June 7, two English ladies had decided to pay these soldiers a tribute by leaving a hand written message on the grave. “On this, the 72nd anniversary of the loss of you all, such brave and such young men, it is due to your sacrifice and others like you that we are free today. Thank you. We come here to remember you and to pay tribute. From Deux Anglaises.”

The Flowers of Mid-May

May 15, 2016

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After tulips, what kind of flowers steel the show at Giverny? Among my favorite are aquilegias, for their delicacy, strange shapes and wide range of colors including white and black, yellow and blue, and pink. Their light foliage is a beauty.

camassia

Camassias are late spring bulbs that grow rather tall.

tree-peony

Pink tree peonies are short lasting little wonders,

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just like this one that looks more modern.

iris

Irises are just starting.

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The vines are at their best. Here the wisterias over the Japanese footbridge,

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And the Clematis montana covering the trellises in the flower garden.

Vintage Curtains and Daisy Planter

April 21, 2016

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A stroll through the village of Giverny leads you very soon to unbeaten paths. In the tranquility of streets that few visitors dare explore, little wonders await the passer by.

I like the loving care taken to decorate this window. The curtain is made out of an antique tablecloth, a rather ingenuous upcycling, for who still uses tablecloths like this one?

The little pompom daisies in their vintage terracotta planter add just the perfect amount of freshness and spring flair. I like their simplicity.

The Ideal Bench

April 6, 2016

bench-hyacinths

Did you ever try and grow a hyacinth in your kitchen? If so, you certainly remember how fragrant a single bulb is. So imagine being seated on this green bench in Monet’s garden, wrapped by the scent of hundreds of hyacinths… This is an early April rapture at Giverny.

The brand of the bench, le banc idéal – the ideal bench – has nothing to do with the floral wonders of Giverny. But it sounds appropriate, doesn’t it?

Giverny opens on March 25th

March 15, 2016

water-garden-march

Although the water garden designed by Claude Monet still looks very peaceful, everybody is working hard at Giverny. The Fondation Monet (his home and gardens) as well as the Musee des Impressionnismes Giverny reopen in ten days, on Friday, 25th March. It is earlier than normally, because Easter is especially early this year.

Just out of the Winter, the gardens are not overloaded with flowers, yet pleasant to walk around. They look fresh and shiny. The first signs of Spring can be noticed. Jonquils are already out, illuminating special spots with their bright yellow. I took the picture above this afternoon.

The Musée des Impressionnismes will display an exhibition of works by Gustave Caillebotte. This hugely talented impressionist was a keen horticulturist. His garden and rare flowers were among his favorite motifs.

 

Winter Time

February 20, 2016

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This is not the winter we are having at Giverny this year. The last time Monet’s water lily pond looked that way was in 2012.

It was so beautiful then! I roamed in the gorgeous yet closed garden and couldn’t look and shoot enough.

The landscape turned white is not that frequent at Giverny. Although we do get a few flakes every winter and a few nights of frost, generally the weather is more humid than cold. It is overcast, it rains, but not cats and dogs, only kittens and puppies, you know.

Patience. All this will soon be over. Fondation Claude Monet opens rain or shine on March 25, 2016, and the seven-month flower show wil be more beautiful than ever.

Giverny’s Weekly Mass

January 29, 2016

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Once a week, on Thursdays at 6.00 pm, a mass is celebrated in the church of Giverny. Everybody is most welcome, especially tourists, even if they are not Catholics, even if they don’t speak French, as long as they are respectful.

Expect locals to smile at you with some curiosity in the eyes. They are eager to know who you are and where you are from, but won’t ask.

The mass starts soon after the old bells stop chiming. There are two of them, a little one that has a high sound and a big one that is lower.

If you are like me, you will prefer not to sit on the first row of chairs, to mimic the faithfuls who know when to stand up or sit down. It feels good to be among them, because churches are not monuments only. Their stones retain all the faith of the humans who built them and prayed in them. The parishioners of today are their beating heart.

A Bakery at Giverny

January 15, 2016

bakery-givernyThis is big and good news at Giverny: a bakery has opened! It is located in the main street rue Claude Monet in the direction to the church on number 73 Bis.
The last one closed decades ago, so it is a joy to see a bakery again in this little village of 500 inhabitants.
Nothing means life in a village more than a bakery and a school.
The bakery’s name, Au coin du pain’tre, is a pun. Au coin du pain would mean To the Bread’s Corner, but with an additional ‘tre ‘ it reads To the Painter’s corner, an allusion to the painting destiny of Giverny. Logically, the shop sign is in the shape of a palette. Artisan boulanger means that breads and pastries are home made.

When the museums are open, so is also the bakery, 7 days a week from 7.00 am to 8.00 pm. The bakery is established in a lofty shop that used to be successively a garage for renting 2CV cars, an antiques shop, and lately a restaurant. There is room enough for tables and a nice walled terrace, where the Coin du pain’tre also serves light meals.