Entries Categorized as 'Monet’s flower garden'

The Tulips of Giverny

April 23, 2018

tulips-monet-house

The name of Monet and his garden at Giverny evoke specific flowers: water lilies, wisterias, irises in large rows… It rarely brings up images of tulips. The big tulip show of April is a surprise to many visitors. 

Tulips in Monet’s times were not yet what they are now, but Monet planted them and painted them, especially on the dining-room doors of his art dealer Paul Durand-Ruel. They are so colorful and charming that a painter can only fall under their spell. 

10 000 bulbs are planted yearly in Monet’s gardens at Giverny. During the first weeks after the opening, they pop out of the ground, form their thick buds and open all of a sudden at the first ray of sunshine. It is like a canvas suddenly covered by paint, each of them being a brushstroke. It may be the time of year when the feeling of walking in a painting is at its strongest in the flower garden designed by Claude Monet. 

Giverny’s Fragrance

April 7, 2018

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The blooming of hyacinths is the sign that Spring has arrived at last. In Monet’s garden they are planted by hundreds. They are beautiful for their colors ranging from white to pale yellow, pink, purple, blue and even almost black, but to tell the truth it is their scent that makes them irresistible.

If we humans would wear that much perfume, it would be a nuisance for people next to us. However, for flowers, rules are different. The more fragrance the better.

We love walking or sitting in an air that is full of their delicious smell. Spontaneously we close the eyes to concentrate better on this experience. Colors forgotten, it is a treat to be nostrils only, taking in the best of springtime.

Yews

March 6, 2018

yews

Seen from Monet’s bedroom, these two imposing trees are yews. They were not planted by Claude Monet: they are older. He found them when he arrived at Giverny. They appear on old photos, although we don’t know of any pic that is from the eighteen eighties. The garden became the focus of photographers after its transformation by Monet and most photos are from the twentieth century. 

 Yews are extraordinary trees. They can live up to 1500 years. In our region of Normandy they are planted near churches in cemeteries. They were certainly symbolic and magic as well. Chapels dedicated to the Virgin were installed in some very old specimens.  

Monet’s two yews in comparison are young boys, only two hundred years old. But they’ve witness so many events, so many people paying a visit to Monet and later touring his garden that their memories would be amazing, if they were willing to share…

Japanese Anemone

September 2, 2017

japanese-anemones

Late summer is a feast for the eyes in Monet’s gardens at Giverny.

Japanese anemones, among many other flowers, are at their best.

Claude Monet grew them along the main alley.

He loved their elegant white flowers popping out against a beautiful green foliage.

On the photos taken in his times, simple white Japanese anemones can be seen.

Nowadays they also exist in pink and can be double or even fluffy.

All of them are lovely perennials that last for decades. 

Bringing Giverny Home

August 18, 2017

flower-bed-giverny

Many visitors of Giverny feel inspired by Monet’s flower garden. Here is how to capture its spirit:

  • choose a main color to create an almost monochromatic flower bed
  • combine as many different flowers in this range of color as possible
  • mix up flower sizes and shapes, trying not to have two same flowers side by side
  • look for petals having different textures, from velvet to feather
  • blur the lines of the borders 

Your border should resemble a living impressionist painting, where petals are used like brushstrokes. Happy gardening!

Flowers used in the bed on the picture: ageratum, petunia, browallia, carnation, verbena, gaura, salvia, nicotiana, agrostemma, cleome, anthemis, canterbury bell, malva, papaver somniferum, ammi visnaga, iris, gladiola… 

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.  

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.

 

Forsythia For Ever

April 5, 2017

forsythia

Today at Giverny, at the entrance to Monet’s house, two forsythias grown in planters glow for the show.

This Time of Year Again

March 31, 2017

primrose

It is this time of year again. Already! At last! The beginning of spring. The time of primroses. 

They flower in big cushions along the paths, so pretty that they look cultivated. What! Nature offers these lovely bunches of pinks and yellows for free, to please our eyes and feed the bees! A present of springtime, that has so many to give away.

We may cherish the flowers of summer, but the first ones are the dearest. Monet also must have been moved by the beauty of the primroses, because he didn’t want them to be pulled out for the sheer reason that they are wild and common. Instead, he asked his gardeners to plant around them.

This is still done at Giverny. Lovely wild flowers enhance borders of spring bulbs and biennials.   They are one of the tips and tricks used by Monet, an accomplished gardener, to make his garden look more natural.

It Is Not Easy To Look Random

March 8, 2017

quamash

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.  

A Feast of Colors

October 21, 2016

colors-giverny

Is it worth visiting Monet’s gardens in October? Yes it is!

While the other gardens open to the public have closed or are already preparing their winter borders, at Giverny the fall flowers are at their best.

They have been patiently selected for their longevity to last till the end.

If frost waits for a few more weeks as it is suppose to do, the show will go on until closing day (November 1st).

The Flowers of September

September 16, 2016

pink-alley-giverny

September is a magic time at Giverny. In Monet’s gardens, all the summer flowers had ample time to settle and offer generously their fascinating beauty. It is an endless surprise to discover the latest varieties of giant dahlias, picked out from the thousands of existing cultivars. They combine in the pink border above with cleomes, sages, zinnias, roses and ageratums, displaying all the different tones from pale pink to deep purple.

In yellow beds, it is time for huge sunflowers of all kinds, coreopsis and black eyed Susan, anthemis, and for some contrast the strange shapes of amaranthus caudatus, whose common name I’m not so fond of: ‘Love lies bleeding’.

This sad name is certainly not in tune with the atmosphere of flowery feast that reigns in the Giverny garden. The alleys are full of lovers that walk hand in hand with a happy smile on their faces. The borders are so high in this season that they provide intimacy. It is a wonderful experience to feel merged in flowers.

Giverny in June

June 16, 2016

june-giverny-water-lilies

In June, all the water lilies flower on Monet’s pond, beautiful and delicate corollas in different tones of pink and soft yellow or white.

june-giverny-foxgloves

The foxgloves stand out everywhere in the garden, like giant sentinels that tower far above our heads.

june-colombine-giverny

The long lasting columbines team with other small flowers like geums and catchfly to offer a light foam of little dots of color. Elsewhere, annual poppies turn the garden pink or red.

giverny-roses-june

June is the month of roses. At Giverny they stand or climb on dozens of metallic structures or on fences. Their scent is a delight…

The Flowers of Mid-May

May 15, 2016

aquilegia

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,

tree-peony-giverny

just like this one that looks more modern.

iris

Irises are just starting.

wisteria-boats-giverny

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

clematis-montana

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

The Big Tulip Show

April 30, 2016

tulip-border-giverny

In late April, Monet’s flower garden at Giverny shimmers of the colors of thousands of tulips and other spring bulbs. Used like little dots of paint on a canvas, their planting is so subtle that it combines mass effect and delicacy.

grand-alley-giverny

The Grand Alley sports patches of fresh colors.

tulip-rainbow-giverny

The ‘paint-box’ aligns little beds of pure colors side by side, like tubes of paint in an artist box. The result is a rainbow framed by the trellis.

forget-me-not-giverny

Delicate, dainty? Forget-me-not needs some popping red in order not to look twee.

tulip-rows-giverny

On the western side of the flower garden, rows of tulips recall the tulips fields in Holland that Monet loved and painted. The colors chosen for this side of the garden are those of sunset: yellow, orange and red.