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.

A Few Flakes at Giverny

December 12, 2010

It snowed for the second time of the season at Giverny last Wednesday, what is rather unusual so early, at the end of Autumn.

But the gardeners are still working in the garden! They plant the bulbs and pansies for next Spring. Thousands of them. And when the weather is really too cold and snowy, they stay inside and maintain the gardening tools.

Do you recognize on the picture the ladies corner, this round shaped little square under the paulownia, where Mrs Monet and her daughters used to sit down in the afternoon? 

 

Monet’s Home in Winter

February 6, 2010

During the Winter, when Giverny is closed for five months, the shutters of Monet’s house remain shut.

It must be dark inside, but nobody cares. The shutters prevent the cold wind from entering the building, maintaining a thin layer of warmer air behind the windows.

I don’t know if the japanese prints are still kept hanging on the walls. If they are, darkness is a relief for their fragile colors.

Shut shutters look like closed lids. When it is cold outside, sleeping is the best thing to do, isn’t it?

So do the bulbs hidden in the flower beds and the buds on the branches. Yes, sleeping is the best option before a very long time of intense activity.

 

Giverny at Twilight

January 14, 2010

It was a dream come true for me to enter Monet’s garden at sunset to take pictures of the dusk.

Cold Winter days finish in a symphony of very tender colors, soft pinks and blues, whereas milder days generally offer dramatic sunsets with flaming reds on low clouds.

As it was last week, it was just incredible to be there, in the absolutely empty garden, walking around the frozen water lily pond waiting for the sky to change.

During the Winter parenthesis, when it is closed for five months, Giverny stops being iconic. Monet’s pool is no more the motiv for world wide known canvases. It becomes a patch of nature again, a very small place indeed lost in the frozen landscape. The realm of wild life.

Snow at Giverny

January 8, 2010

Monet’s pond is frozen.

A small coating of snow hides the surface like a new canvas.

Long blue shadows stretch on the shining whiteness.

 Not a single flower.

 Even the brave pansies are covered with a blanket of snow.

No colors, except for the green bridges.

Birds are hiding, but their prints are everywhere, like strange words written in the snow.

And the running water of the river reminds that life is awaiting under the appearant death of nature.

Snow Again

February 4, 2009

After a few milder days it snowed again on Giverny and Vernon.

Unlike Paris where snow melts soon and turns into an unpleasant mud, here it remains white and crispy under the soles for a longer time. It powders the roofs but those with southern exposure won’t stay icy for a long time. Birds know it when they come and sunbath on the Old Mill of Vernon along the Seine.

In the sunshine, the landscape is enhanced by its luminous coating. As Monet would have done, it is an opportunity to experience the different colors of the snow: purple-blue in the shade, yellow and pink in  the sunlight.

The Snowy Garden

January 7, 2009

An unusual view of Giverny: Monet’s water garden is covered by snow.

Not much but enough to transfigure the usually colourfull garden.  The pond is frozen, except for the place around the island and the borders.

In the background the roses arches at the dock are still there as a landmark to the dormant garden.