Entries Categorized as 'Water-Garden'

Monet’s Garden in Early April

March 23, 2012

giverny-aprilThis is what you can expect if you are visiting Giverny in Early April. The white and pink magnolias are in blossom. Very soon, their flowers will fall on the lawns, creating a white circle at the foot of the trees.
The pimples of weeping willows have burst, long branches of fresh green leaves hang over the pond, reflecting in endless verticals.
Patches of yellow or white daffodils illuminate the spring grass and diffuse a fabulous scent.
Monet’s pond, where only a few water lily pads announce the future splendour of Summer, is stiller than ever, and the atmosphere very peaceful.
All the benches and bridges have been repainted a bright green. They look inviting.
And birds sing like mads, offering the perfect voice track for a quiet and serene visit of Giverny.

Boating Gardening

February 23, 2012

This is what is needed at Giverny to keep Monet’s pond as clean as a mirror:

– a flat boat copied from Monet’s, very common in his times,

– a big garbage can,

– a carp net,

– thick gloves to protect your hands.

Equipped with these very simple tools, the gardener is ready for the constant battle he has to fight.

The battle field is the surface, and the invaders are of different kinds. The main body of the army is made out of dried leaves and seeds. Drown bugs must go, too.

Alone against the ennemy that is continuously renewed, the gardener must be a super heroe. He needs a good balance, a strong back and strong arms to fish the dirt and take it out, leaf after leaf. Good spirits are essential too. Patience and perseverance.

 No wonder the algaes and leaves fishing gardener is the star of the pond, photographed millions of times by the visitors of Giverny.

 

Snowy Giverny

February 8, 2012

It is hard to imagine that in seven weeks, the gardens will be full of flowers again. For the moment, it is icy and snowy at Giverny.

Yesterday morning, I visited the closed and cold Monet garden. It was probably the most beautiful day of the winter. A few inches of snow covered pond and park, and shined in the sunlight. It looked so still and sleepy… But life is not far away, just hiding in every little hole.

Under the Japanese bridge,  a bird has stamped its very regular footsteps, designing new curves to add to those imagined by Claude Monet.

Path at Giverny

January 23, 2012

path-at-givernyA quiet path, early in the morning in Claude Monet’s water garden at Giverny.
The big tree on the right is the trunk of a taxodium, a deciduous coniferous that loves river sides. The big leaves at its feet are petasites, also known as butterbur, a plant that grows wild along the streams in the surroundings of Giverny.
An orange azalea tops a bed of pink tulips and pink forget-me-nots.
This picture was taken last Spring, the 4th of May.

Painting Giverny

January 15, 2012

painting-givernyIt is many painters’ dream to be able to stay in Monet’s garden to paint.
If your medium is watercolor, pencils, ink… no problem. Just sit down on a bench (preferably) and paint. But if you use acrylic, for instance, and need an easel therefore, you must ask for allowance. Please get in touch with Fondation Monet. If there aren’t too many requests for the day you wish, you will be granted the privilege of staying in the gardens after closing time. This is the best way to feel just like Monet, almost alone on the grounds. Same vibrations, same inspiration. Have a great time!

Happy New Year!

January 2, 2012

giverny-sunriseBest wishes
from Giverny
for a splendid
year 2012
full of light
and beauty!

Autumn at Giverny

November 17, 2011

autumn-spirit-givernyThis is how Monet’s pond looks on November 1st, minutes before closing for the winter.
Soft or spectacular, according to sunshine.

Misty Morning on Monet’s Pond

October 17, 2011

giverny-boatsThe misty days of October are back! On Monet’s pond at Giverny, they create a soft atmosphere enhancing the different textures of the foliages. Among all these greens, the sumac of Virginia flames. Asters fill in the flower beds in big bouquets. The boat awaits the gardener. He will soon arrive to maintain the pond.

Autumn Nymphea

October 11, 2011

nymphea-givernyAutumn leaves fall on Claude Monet’s pond  at Giverny, creating new beauties, new color harmonies.

Sensitive Water Lilies

July 3, 2011

white-nympheaWater lilies are sensitive to cold. When the night is overcast and mild, they are all open in the morning. But if the night is clear, they close and need several hours of sunshine to open again.

They like a warm water not only to open, but also to bloom. On Monet’s pond, water lilies are gorgeous during heat waves, they become scarce during rainy and cool periods.

This is true for a big pond like Giverny. For gardeners who would like to grow water lilies in a wash basin, it is wise to look for a partly shaded spot. In direct sunshine, the water of a small container becomes very warm. If some like it hot, it is not the case of water lilies.

Maintenance Tasks at Giverny

May 30, 2011

gardener-pondMonet’s Garden at Giverny is not a low maintainance garden. In the 19th Century, having gardeners and helpers was not as expensive as today. The wealthy painter could afford up to six full time gardeners to manucure his 5 acre garden.

One of the heavy task of his times that is still a daily core today was the skimming of the pond to take out all the dried leaves or petals floating on the surface.

The pond being surrounded by trees and flowers, it is the only way to keep the water clear.

The job takes two hours and must be done almost every day.

A Frog on a Lilly Pad

April 30, 2011

Frogs are very loud these days at Giverny.

The rest of the year, they are rather shy, and you rarely see them. But in Spring, especially in April, they croak.

The big bubbles the toad inflate on their cheeks betray them, although their color matches perfectly the water lilly pad they are seated on.

Their choir is not continuous. It sounds all of a sudden in the silent air. One frog starts, and quickly all the other ones reply, louder and louder. After a minute or two, they stop briskly.

I suppose they believe they sung harmoniously and are waiting for the applause of the visitors walking around Claude Monet’s pond.

A Place for Love

February 19, 2011

On April 1st, when it opens for the first time in the season, Giverny is like a sleeping beauty. Still a bit dreamy, it awakes gradually.

Lovers in their own dreams start walking around or sitting on the benches, enjoying the Spring sunshine.

Giverny is a nice place to celebrate love, love of a partner, of parents, relatives, and also love for gardens, nature, painting and simply beauty.

It was Valentine’s day this week: I dedicate this post to all lovers.

Ice Cold

February 1, 2011

Claude Monet ‘s pond at Giverny is almost completely frozen today, after a few cold days.

The last leaves of water lilies are petrified in the ice.

The garden looks asleep, while the gardeners are very busy. They maintain the bamboos that were bent by the snow, they remove the dry ones and take them away. It is a big job to carry away these 25 foot long sticks!

The gardeners have also chopped down the sick weeping willow to plant a new one, they cleansen the walkways, put the pansies in the flower beds…

The guardrails of the little curved bridge are missing. They are currently being repainted in the garage.

When I was in Monet’s garden this morning, I had the feeling of visiting a backstage, having a glimpse on a Giverny that nobody will see, the secret Giverny of wintertime.

Looking Forward to Spring

January 28, 2011

On April 1st, when Fondation Claude Monet opens again for a new season, it is early Spring.

On the hills of the Seine valley, the pastures are still grey, waiting for a new grass to grow.

But in Monet’s garden, the first flowers display their colors.

The weeping willows open their buds and swing their freshly born leaves over the pond.

On the river side, the small basket willows stretch their orange twigs.

These traditional trees are useful to prevent the banks from slipping into the river, and they are lovely too.

It is still Winter right now, but we are all looking forward to Spring.