Some things are worth getting up early for, and Monet's Garden is certainly just such a place. Staying just outside Rouen, the 70km trip to Giverny took a while and we arrived at opening time (9.30am) to beat the crowds and tour his rambling country home and garden. The plain family house in which impressionist painter Claude Monet lived and worked sat at the end of a quiet pedestrianized French village street. It included his spacious studio. Beyond the simply furnished home, still preserved just as he lived in it for 43 years, the gardens could be seen from the windows as a profusion of color. There were beds galore of iris, tulips, pansies, azaleas, roses and more. The grand AllÃ©e and flower garden were beautifully maintained. After drinking our fill of the colorful delights of the gardens and pergolas we took the underpass which goes under the road to the water gardens. Monet bought the extra land and developed a beautiful pond, surrounded by weeping willows and covered in water lilies. Colorful plants lined the banks and wisteria draped over the wooden Japanese bridge which is now immortalized in his paintings.
It was hushed and still with just the sound of bird song in the trees. You could not help but pause on the bridge and look down into the pond, seeing a scene which is known in every art gallery, calendar and card shop in the world, it seems.
Truly a memorizing and memorable trip, a walk through Monet's garden, especially in the spring and early summer is a must. Breathe in the beauty and understand what motivated this great artist to first create and then paint this idyllic garden.
By Gillian Birch
Gillian | Aug 5, 2009 | Category: General