The Water garden
A decade after moving to Giverny, 1893, he purchased adjacent property across the railway. Across the property flowed a small brook which fed off a tributary of the Seine River. Then he set forward with his plan digging a small pond. His neighbours opposed, afraid that the outlandish plants would poison the water.
Eventually the pond was enlarged to its current size. It is complete with curved and asymmetries and inspired by the Japanese gardens. Monet had been an avid collector of Japanese prints.
The water garden is home to the famous Japanese bridge and is heavily curtained with fragrant wisterias and surrounded by weeping willows, a bamboo wood and the famous water lilies which bloom throughout the summer.
The vegetation surrounding the pond formed enclosed and separated the grounds from the surrounding countryside.
It was unique for an artist to sculpt his subjects in nature in preparation of painting them. In this way, he fashioned his masterpieces twice. Monet took inspiration from his beloved water garden for over twenty
years. Having completed the Japanese bridge series he turned his focus to the giant decorations of the Orangerie.
Searching for transparencies and mist, he dedicated himself to reflections in the water, an inverted world transfigured by the fluid enlement.
Monet’s beloved Japanese bridge was built by a local artisan. Unfortunately, it was beyond repair and had to be rebuilt.
The stunning wisteria were planted by Monet. As I left the gardens, a sprig of wisteria blew over the wall. Without a thought I picked it up and stuck it in my journal. It was amazing how long the fragrance lasted. Perhaps it was strengthened by the memory of that day?