April 15, 2011
In the 19th Century, trees used to be white in Spring. There were white blossoms of cherry trees, white plum trees, white pear trees… Apple trees were slightly tinted with pink when budding, but became white when in bloom. Only southern trees like peach or apricot trees could be pink, however they were rarely to be seen in Normandy.
So we can imagine the novelty of introducing exotic varieties like crab apples, Japanese cherry or plum trees in a little village on the countryside like Giverny. Their pink blossom must have looked unique to Monet, and to his neighbours.
The pink exotic trees are widely spread by now, but in April their short beauty still enchants Spring in Claude Monet’s gardens.
January 10, 2011
This tree standing alone next to the greenhouse in Monet’s garden at Giverny is a holly.
Not a wild, ordinary one: it has beautiful golden rimmed leaves. Nonetheless, the holly disappears in the magnificence of flowers during the season, when the garden is in full bloom. Nobody takes any notice of the flowerless tree.
During the winter, on the contrary, when all the flowers are dead or waiting for better times to come, the holly recovers its majesty. This is probably why its prickly leaves and red berries are very much related to the time of Christmas and New Year.
October 15, 2008
A big copper beech shades Claude Monet’s water garden at Giverny.
It is a very old tree, dating back to Monet’s time. It must be over 100 years old, a survivor from the original garden Monet planted.
In October, Autumn has come and the beech is not copper anymore but brown, as you can see from its reflection in the waterlily pond. The rest of the season this senior among the trees in the garden has strange powers.
There is a magic in it: when you stand under its branches and you look up, its leaves are perfectly green. But seen from a distance they become dark red.
Certainly one could find a scientific explanation for this magic, but please! don’t tell me. I prefer not to know.