It is said that many of Monet’s works were created twice – the first time at his garden and the second on canvas. And the gardens are really an artistic creation with profusion of flowering plants and trees randomly placed. Yet the beauty lies in its seeming randomness. Monet disliked regimented gardens and scattered flowering plants and trees randomly allowing them to grow without restraint. Monet’s garden is divided into two sections:
The Clos Normand
This section has a central alley of iron archways with climbing plants including roses, coloured shrubs and nasturtiums that cover the ground under the arches. There are also two yew trees. There are numerous flower beds of hollyhocks, daisies, poppies and other more exotic flowering plants.
The Water Garden
This distinct portion was inspired by Monet’s fascination with prints of Japanese gardens. Ten years after he moved in, Monet started the Water Garden. Through this section of the garden runs a stream with the famous blue Japanese bridge and other smaller ones over hung with wisterias, weeping willows, a bamboo grove, nympheas and azaleas.
Monet painted The Water Lilies, a series of twelve canvases and based several others on the blue Japanese bridge. Monet’s house with its famous pink crushed brick deserves an honourable mention. The restored house is a faithful recreation. None of Monet’s original paintings are in the house.
The house and gardens are open daily: From April 1st to November 1st, 2012
From 9.30 AM to 6.00 PM
Fees: Adults €9.50. Children over 7 and students: €6.50
Tips: Go early as crowds wanting to get in can be large. Take the guided tour and you will get the best out of your visit.
The little village of Giverny is about 80 kms to the West of Paris and in the valley of the Seine. It falls in the Haute-Normandie region of France. The village has remained a small one though it gets a massive influx of tourists every day.
Besides the attraction of the Monet’s house and gardens, the village also boasts a Mechanical Museum dedicated to restoring old engines and machinery. Then there is the Museum of Impressionism Giverny dedicated to the history of impressionism. The village and surrounding countryside are lovely and begging to be explored.
About Claude Monet and his Giverny Connection
Claude Oscar Monet was born in Paris on 14th November, 1840. He travelled widely and painted many locations. He first saw Giverny from a train window. He moved to Giverny and rented a house in 1883, later buying it and an adjoining piece of land in 1890. He was totally captivated by the place. He would live there, creating some of his greatest works, many featuring his gardens.
Monet died on 5th December, 1926 and is buried in Giverny’s cemetery.