June 11, 2008
Claude Monet was influenced by his extensive collection of Japanese woodblocks when he created his water garden.
He liked all the bamboos, wisterias, water lilies or peonies he could see on them and wanted these exotic plants in his garden.
He also loved the curved bridges which are so common on Japanese prints.
But although Monet knew pretty well the lay out of a Japanese garden thanks to his readings and to his neighbour American painter Lilla Cabbott Perry who had lived in Tokyo, he took poetic license.
He didn’t intend to create a true Japanese garden. His bridges are much less bent than authentic ones, and they are green. In a true Japanese garden, they should be red.
June 6, 2008
Monet’s garden at Giverny is full of roses.
It is not a proper rose garden, for there are also many other sorts of flowers, but nonetheless it is gorgeous in May and June when the roses are in bloom.
They are everywhere, weeping from the umbrella like structures, climbing on trellises, on fences, on trees, on the facade of the house, wrapped around tripods, in bunches, or among peonies and sweet rocket in the mixed borders…
All sorts of colors can be seen, pale cream, pure white, soft yellow, many pinks, red, orange… Not all of them are simple roses but many are scented. Light and delight.
May 7, 2008
This part of Monet’s water garden at Giverny ‘looks like Japan’, as the painter would have said.
Monet was inspired by his large collection of Japanese woodblocks when he landscaped his water garden. He planted many exotic species of plants he could see on the prints, like azaleas, rhododendrums, wisterias, bamboos, Japanese maples and of course water lilies. Monet imported peonies in trees from Japan. Many plants in his garden had never been seen before in Giverny.
However his garden is not a true Japanese garden, the spirit being very different.