Entries Categorized as 'More Than Expected'

Thank You

November 10, 2016

heart-shaped-leaves

Thanksgiving is a typically North American feast that we don’t have in Europe, but I wish to borrow it for a moment to say a big end-of-the-year Thank You.

Thank you to all the people who visited France this year, and to those who traveled to Giverny.

Thank you to the staff of Giverny, especially to the gardeners, for making it such a lovely place to enjoy.

Thank you to the sun that was so present last summer and autumn.

And thank you to mother Nature for creating all the heart shaped leaves that I like so much and love discovering in the gardens.

Follow me on Facebook

August 15, 2016

giverny-facebook

I’m posting a photo of Giverny a day on facebook.

I would be please to see you there!

These pics are taken from the perpetual calendar I published.

If you wish to order it, just drop me a comment and I will be in touch.

The Giverny Joie de Vivre

July 4, 2016

rose-poppy-giverny

The birds are not the only ones that sing at Giverny. Today I heard a gentleman whistling a melody in the tunnel leading to the water garden. It was so on key and sounded so well that every body stopped to listen.

A bit later, a little girl sitting under the weeping willow hummed a nursery rhyme. A group of teenagers “that had been singing in the coach all the way from Paris to Giverny” according to their teacher continued in Monet’s gardens with all the good old hits of the Eighties they knew.

And then, the smiles. I love to see how people look happy when they come back from standing on the Japanese bridge, after they have realized that they are there, for real.

And all the bright smiles visitors have for the camera. The funny poses they strike.

I too must smile at the school children on a day trip that yell, super excited: “Here are the water lilies! We found them!” 

I share the exhilaration of keen gardeners looking at all the botanical marvels of Giverny. I can feel the concentration of the artists sitting on benches and drawing.

Why is Giverny so popular? Because it is the perfect place to feel a perfect moment of joie de vivre!

Fairies Made Visible

June 21, 2016

Fairy-giverny

Thanks to Louise, the fairies that fly in Monet’s gardens at Giverny can be seen at last. Look at this handsome little guy reflecting into Monet’s water lily pond… It is no problem to walk on the water as long as you’ve got dragonfly wings and a magic wand!  (click to enlarge and see all the lovely details).

Louise sent me a few of these adorable works she’s done using my photos of Monet’s garden as a background. I love the delicate and sensitive way she peoples the garden with airy little beings. If you want to see more of them, please write a comment.

giverny-window-fairy

Edit of 27 June 2016

Thank you for your comment, Carol, here you are!

Gardens of Awe and Folly

March 6, 2016

gardens-of-awe-and-folly

I’m not used to reviewing books on this blog, but I need to make an exception for the newly published Gardens of Awe and Folly by Vivian Swift (Bloomsbury). It is the kind of book that puts a smile on your face when you look at it on the coffee table. The book that you want to re-read as soon as you’ve finished it. Humorous, imaginative, poetic, tender, insightful, and absolutely beautiful because of the many lovely watercolors by the author.

Vivian Swift made her very personal selection of gardens that matter to her and tells stories about them. As she puts it, “If all you ask of a garden is What?, then all you’ll probably get in reply is a planting list. But ask, instead, Why? How? When? and, most of all, Who? and then you’re in for a nice, long conversation. This book is a collection of the conversations I’ve had with nine gardens that had a lot to say.”

For an idea of chapter one, you can have a look at Vivian Swift’s blog. You will see how much she loves Paris… If you browse to older posts, you will learn more about Vivian’s next project: a book on Giverny, especially on how to paint Giverny. She makes it sound so easy and fun!

 

Hair, air, heir

August 9, 2015

flower-hedge

A flower hedge at the edge of Monet’s garden

For a French tongue, pronouncing the English words starting with an h is not that easy. The French language doesn’t have this sound, thence it is a special effort to say these words right. I do my utmost. I apply myself. I concentrate. I don’t mix up edges and hedges, ear and hear.

Today however, at the end of my tour in Monet’s garden, a gentleman came to me. He told me that there is a word that comes several times in my commentary that I didn’t say right: heir. Monet’s heir, his son Michel. As a lawyer, he explained, it is a word he knows only too well. It is not like the hair, but like the air.

Wow.  Isn’t it disconcerting? I expected exactly the contrary, that I had forgotten the h. I was very grateful, because it was done with kindness. It felt like receiving a little gift.

My English has improved a lot since school, thanks to the native speakers I meet every day. But very few take the trouble to correct me. I suppose a certain quantity of mistakes is acceptable, just like for you when reading this blog. I’ve improved because I paid attention to the right phrases, grammar, or pronunciation of my interlocutors. But I never realized this very mistake, although lots of visitors have asked me about Monet’s heirs. Because it is not relevant in French, I didn’t notice that the h was missing.