Moor Hens

July 26, 2012

Here are the moor hens living on Claude Monet’s pond at Giverny.

Every year, they nest on the island in the middle of the pond, or in the shrubs around. After a few weeks, they appear on the water with their adorable little chicks, five of them generally.

They are so sweet, light enough to walk on the lily pads. Both parents take care of them. But it won’t help.

Because we are human beings with a memory, we know what’s going to happen next: the ducklings will end in the belly of the pike living in the pond. This is the cruel story that repeats every year.

But because they are moor hens, and have not much space for brains in their head, they forget every year and keep nesting on the same location.

This afternoon two of the smalls only were left.

Monet’s Pond

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.

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.

Reflection at Giverny

November 29, 2010

The beauty of late season at Giverny relies on the reflections on Monet’s pond.

The surrounding trees turn red, orange, yellow and dip their image into the water.

Their warm colors split in dots of changing shapes form a stunning contrast with the cold blue and perfectly defined leaves of the remaining water lilies.

 This picture was taken one month ago. Now the leaves have been blown away, and Fondation Claude Monet is closed until next 1st April.

Fusion and Profusion

November 8, 2010

In his water garden at Giverny, Claude Monet planted tall trees like weeping willows, ash trees, chestnut trees, poplars, copper beeches…

They were underplanted by shrubs that offered their interesting foliages, flowers, berries, and scents: roses, tree peonies, azaleas, rhododendrons, viburnums, Japanese maples, ferns…

These shrubs were underplanted by flowers, for example flag irises, to provide a touch of vibrant color.

Thus, Monet created a little world that resembled a clearance in the woods.

 He liked to feel blended with nature. Staring at the reflections of the sky into the pond, he could loose any notion of himself and merge into the waterscape.

Sunrise on Giverny

May 1, 2010

Early in the morning, long before the first visitor arrives in Monet’s garden at Giverny, rays of orange sunshine stroke the Japanese bridge of the water garden, while a light mist raises from the pond.

 Monet, who was an early bird, loved to get up before sunrise, in order not to miss a second of the dramatic show of light and water.

 

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.

Natural Paintings

October 30, 2009

Fall is a talented artist who paints beautiful works on Monet’s water lily pond at Giverny.

Late October is the best time to admire the warm reflection of foliage on the surface so often painted by the master of Impressionism.

Liquidambars, weeping willows, poplars, taxodium, beech, chestnut trees all offer their brightest tones duplicated by the mirror of the lake.

Then the breeze comes like a magic stick to blur it all and turn the perfect images into nature’s brushstrokes.

And the little green bridge is there to frame it all.

Vantage Point

July 10, 2009

The dock offers good views on the small bridge over Monet’s pond at Giverny.

There are six bridges in Monet’s water garden, the biggest being the one Monet painted so often. But the smaller bridge at the other end of the pond is very charming also.

This side of the garden is bathed by the sun in late afternoon. The warm light generates beautiful reflections on the surface.

One would like to do like Monet, just sit down and gaze at the water for hours, scrutinising the changing colors of nature.

Copper Beech

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.