Entries Categorized as 'Giverny'

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

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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.   

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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. 

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.

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.

 

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

greetings2017

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

water-garden

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

war-grave-giverny

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.”