by Ariane ~ June 7, 2012
After the yellow and orange Iceland poppies, and the enormous red perennial Chinese poppies, it is now time for the lovely pink annual poppies.
Each year, when they pull the dried ones out of the ground, the gardeners scatter the seeds in the flower beds. They grow everywhere, and they turn the garden into a pink fairy for a few days.
The eremurus, also known as fox tails, create an interesting contrast with their vertical shape.
They are topped by the climbing roses, at their best in June.
by Ariane ~ May 28, 2012
The painter Claude Monet had a special eye for refined and simple countryside elegance.
Here, the main entrance to his home at Giverny, an harmony of tender pink and bright green, enhanced by two blue Chinese pots.
The balance is obtained by the symetry of the decoration.
The curtains behind the iron cast door make it look like a puppet theatre.
by Ariane ~ May 24, 2012
The question of the ‘best time’ to come to see Monet’s gardens at Giverny is hard to answer. Many times are so beautiful!
The iris period is one of my favorite. The irises are just at their peak right now, displaying their charms in waves of white and purple petals in Monet’s flower garden.
I love the irises, but I love the spectacular tulips as well, the fresh blossoms of early spring, the poppies time, the roses, the gorgeous summer flowers including Nympheas and nasturtiums, the asters of autumn…
When is it the best time to see Monet’s gardens? There are so many, one visit is not enough, you must come back!
by Ariane ~ May 20, 2012
This is Monet’s pond at Giverny seen from the Japanese Bridge in May, when the wisterias are in bloom.
The water lily pads float like islands on the surface. No flowers yet.
Short before closing time, visitors are few. The late afternoon sunshine enlightens the trees on the eastern side of the pool. Silence falls on the garden. The scent of the flowers is in the air.
by Ariane ~ April 30, 2012
Tulips spread their colors these weeks at Giverny. It is one of the times of year when the monet garden is at its brightest. The big colorful heads stand side by side, being planted tight, undisturbed by any leaves, that are much lower.
Tulips have the ability of looking thick and massive in direct or mute light, and totally different as soon as the sun shines through their petals. Then, in late afternoon for instance, they become delicate and light, they seem to loose any weight and dance in the breeze.
by Ariane ~ April 21, 2012
I have eventually gathered my favorite pictures of Giverny into a photo gallery.
Season after season, Monet’s water garden and flower garden change a lot.
I like early morning atmospheres as well as rainy days, bright sunshine or sunset. I like the snow white garden. I like roses and nympheas. I like the colors of autumn, the stunning reflections on the pond.
I hope you will like them too.
If you’d like painting after my pictures, please feel free. I would be happy to see your work.
by Ariane ~ April 19, 2012
One of the charms of Monet’s flower garden is its countryside look. This secluded garden is surrounded by high stone walls typical for the backyards in the region of Giverny. While the houses open on to the streets, the walls are pierced by little wooden doors leading to narrow paths between the estates. In Monet’s flower garden, this one was the way to the cottage of the head gardener in Monet’s times.
Against the walls, espaliered pear and apple trees recall the former use of the garden as an orchard, before Monet turned it into a magnificent impressionist garden. The straight alleys look like those of the kitchen garden it used to be.
by Ariane ~ April 8, 2012
In April, the pink facade of Monet’s house in Giverny responds to huge beds of pink tulips in front of the main entrance.
To create a shimmering effect, several varieties of pink tulips are planted, some redder, pinker or even orange, to resemble Monet’s brushstrokes on the canvas.
The pink tulips are underplanted by blue forget-me-not.
by Ariane ~ March 23, 2012
This 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.
by Ariane ~ March 1, 2012
Monet’s House and Garden at Giverny will open in exactly one month, on April 1st. You can already buy your admission tickets on-line, by following this link.
It is wise to buy your ticket in advance, because lines can be long sometimes, especially on sunny days.
In 2012, the admission fare at the till is 9 euros for an adult, 5 euros for young people between 7 and 25 (free for kids up to 6 years old). For an e-ticket you will pay an extra cost, but it is not expensive.
You can book your admission for any day from 1st April to 1st November, 2012. Fondation Monet is open 7/7. The best day to come is generally Wednesday. The best time: late afternoon, after 4.00pm, on week-days, because most visitors leave early to get back to Paris.
Or, on week-end, a good tip is to come early in the morning. With your e-ticket you can get in as early as 9.15am.
When in Giverny, make your way to the Group Entrance with your advance ticket, (not the individual entrance, because it is for people who don’t have their ticket). The Group Entrance is located at the bottom of the garden in a small lane called ruelle Leroy. It is next to the road D5 coming from Vernon.
You will show your e-ticket to a security member, and in you are! It is only a few steps to the water garden.
I really recommend purchasing e-tickets, because many people are very surprised to see how busy Giverny is. 611 000 visitors came in 2011, all of them within 7 months only!
To make most of your time and enjoy the very special atmosphere of Monet’s gardens, choose carefully the day of your visit. Unless it rains, you can expect crowds on long week-ends in Spring like Easter, 1st and 8th of May, Ascension Day, Whit Sunday. Your vacation time is short, it is not fun to waste it queuing.
by Ariane ~ 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.
by Ariane ~ 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.
by Ariane ~ February 5, 2012
March at Giverny is time for the last tasks before the gates open to visitors on April 1st. The last pruning, clipping, mowing, raking… before D-Day.
While the gardeners take advantage of the empty garden to put their ladders and wheel barrows in the middle of the alleys, the earliest flowers bloom for their own sake. Big bouquets of daffodils shine in the middle of the fresh green lawns.
The first flowers of Spring are mostly yellow. They are paired with blue pansies to obtain this color combination that Monet liked so much, and that looks very attractive.
by Ariane ~ January 23, 2012
A 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.
by Ariane ~ January 15, 2012
It 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!