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Giverny on a November Sunday

November 22, 2015


Giverny was very peaceful but not totally desert this afternoon, due to a reasonably sunny Sunday.
The shutters on Monet’s house are locked for the winter.
Although it is not possible to enter any museum or garden, although cafés, restaurants and gift shops are closed, the village itself seems to attract people looking for a nice stroll.
Along the streets the flower beds continue to provide some flowers like sages, fuchsias, roses and dahlias.
They will resist until frost, or until the gardeners decide to pull them out.
One day, in the next months, they will be changed for spring flowers.

Last Fire on the Water

November 2, 2015

autumn-giverny Monet’s gardens are closed for the winter since this morning.

In the water garden, the show goes on for nobody except for the black birds and finches, still singing occasionally in the branches.

I wonder if the carps in the pond can see the gorgeous colors of the sweet gums over them.

Reopening of Giverny on March 26th, 2016 with a brand new spring garden in pale pinks and fresh greens.

Hair, air, heir

August 9, 2015


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.

Monet’s Studio

May 20, 2013

The first studio occupied by Claude Monet is part of his main house at Giverny. In this room, Monet stored the paintings he didn’t want to sell, to keep a record of the steps of his career.

Nowadays, the furniture is still authentic, as well as the objects decorating the room, but the paintings are all copies. Monet lined them on the walls on several rows up to the ceiling.

This studio was restored recently, it looks as if Monet had just left it.

Monet’s Property at Giverny

April 20, 2013

Monet’s property at Giverny is surrounded by high stone walls. This is nothing special in Normandy, as many estates and gardens are a so called ‘norman enclosure’, in French ‘Clos normand’. The walls are a good protection against rabbits and deers, and excellent for privacy.

Here is a pic of Monet’s second studio seen from the main street of Giverny, rue Claude Monet. This building is not open to the public. It houses offices and reception rooms for the administration of Fondation Claude Monet.

At Monet’s time, it was used as a studio where Monet stored the paintings for sale, and completed them if necessary. Monet designed the studio to receive northern light.

The big green gate was the gate to the garage sheltering his car, a Panhard Levassor that he bought in 1900.

On the far left, Claude Monet’s main house appears in the distance.

Spring is Back!

March 26, 2013

After five months of Winter break,  Giverny will open again on Friday, 29th March instead of the traditional April 1st. This early opening is meant to welcome visitors on Easter week-end.

I’m thrilled to be back again soon in these magnificent gardens to share their beauty with you!

Photo: Giverny, April 20, 2012

Early Morning at Giverny

February 3, 2013

7:30 a.m. at Giverny, 4 May.

The sun appears behind the hill, enlightening the soft mist lingering over Monet’s pond.

The garden is quiet, peaceful.

Birds are singing the new day.

And light starts its magic on the surface of the water.

Hello world!

April 20, 2008

Welcome to Giverny.
This is my first post. I work as a guide in Claude Monet’s gardens and home at Giverny, Normandy, France.

It is a unique place created by the painter himself, an avid gardener.

 Monet landscaped his garden, using all what he knew about colors and composition to compose the flower beds or design the alleys.

He considered it his most beautiful artwork because it was a living one, changing with the seasons. 

Then he painted it, over and over again. He wanted to render the changing light, the impression of the moment.

I would like to try and render my everyday impressions too and share with you the beauty of this garden, and generally my passion for Monet and his works.