Giverny opens on March 25th

March 15, 2016

water-garden-march

Although the water garden designed by Claude Monet still looks very peaceful, everybody is working hard at Giverny. The Fondation Monet (his home and gardens) as well as the Musee des Impressionnismes Giverny reopen in ten days, on Friday, 25th March. It is earlier than normally, because Easter is especially early this year.

Just out of the Winter, the gardens are not overloaded with flowers, yet pleasant to walk around. They look fresh and shiny. The first signs of Spring can be noticed. Jonquils are already out, illuminating special spots with their bright yellow. I took the picture above this afternoon.

The Musée des Impressionnismes will display an exhibition of works by Gustave Caillebotte. This hugely talented impressionist was a keen horticulturist. His garden and rare flowers were among his favorite motifs.

 

Winter Time

February 20, 2016

snow-giverny

This is not the winter we are having at Giverny this year. The last time Monet’s water lily pond looked that way was in 2012.

It was so beautiful then! I roamed in the gorgeous yet closed garden and couldn’t look and shoot enough.

The landscape turned white is not that frequent at Giverny. Although we do get a few flakes every winter and a few nights of frost, generally the weather is more humid than cold. It is overcast, it rains, but not cats and dogs, only kittens and puppies, you know.

Patience. All this will soon be over. Fondation Claude Monet opens rain or shine on March 25, 2016, and the seven-month flower show wil be more beautiful than ever.

Christmas Time

December 24, 2015

christmas-tree-giverny

Next to the former railway station of Giverny-Limetz now converted into a ‘salle des fetes’ (community hall), the big fir tree proudly sports Christmas light garlands.

In winter, simplicity and peacefulness reign in the little village of Claude Monet, inhabited by 500 persons only.

631 000 visitors flocked to the water lily pond in 2015, from late March to early November.  Now that they have gone, it is like night after day, a time for relaxing and dreaming.

The Christmas tree shines for the Givernois (inhabitants of Giverny) and for the passersby driving on the Chemin du Roy.

A Kiss Under the Mistletoe

January 4, 2015

mistletoe

This picture was taken on January 1st at Giverny. Outdoors, under a mistletoe plant growing on a tree. Mistletoe is extremely common in our area and can be seen on a wide range of trees including poplars, apple trees, aspens or oaks.

As long as the leaves don’t hide it, mistletoe is very visible and puzzles many visitors. It is a parasite and it does kill the branches it grows on by being too greedy, but the tree itself generally resists. In the meanwhile, mistletoe offers bed and board to many birds. It is now considered an ecological keystone species.

As a guide, I was recently asked by a client if we also kiss under the mistletoe on New Year’s Eve. Actually, we do sometimes, although I doubt this habit belongs to the French folklore. But because we love kissing in France, any excuse for it is immediately adopted, of course. However to tell the truth, the clock striking midnight is enough to start the kissing party.

I wish you many opportunities for kissing this year and twelve months full of love, friendship and warmth. Have a wonderful year 2015!

 

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.

Ice Cold

February 1, 2011

Claude Monet ‘s pond at Giverny is almost completely frozen today, after a few cold days.

The last leaves of water lilies are petrified in the ice.

The garden looks asleep, while the gardeners are very busy. They maintain the bamboos that were bent by the snow, they remove the dry ones and take them away. It is a big job to carry away these 25 foot long sticks!

The gardeners have also chopped down the sick weeping willow to plant a new one, they cleansen the walkways, put the pansies in the flower beds…

The guardrails of the little curved bridge are missing. They are currently being repainted in the garage.

When I was in Monet’s garden this morning, I had the feeling of visiting a backstage, having a glimpse on a Giverny that nobody will see, the secret Giverny of wintertime.

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.

 

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.

Happy New Year!

December 27, 2009

It is time for Season Greetings, so I wish you all the best for 2010.

Let the old year become a dry leaf blown away by the wind, and new sprouts grow, like green buds full of life and energy!

It is time for garden dreams, when flowers still sleep in the cold ground.

And time for dreams of travelling as soon as the sun is higher and warmer again.

Will you come to Giverny this year?

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.