Giverny Part III

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More than half a million people visit Monet’s gardens each year. However, it is only open for seven months each season.

The many inner alleys are closed to visitors to protect the plants and maintain the garden’s beauty. However, you are free to explore the side alleys and all about the garden viewing its various perspectives.

An underground passage will give you access to the water garden. During the time of Monet you had to cross a railway and road. Yes, you can walk across the Japanese bridge and get stunning views of the numerous hidden recess of the water garden.

Let your camera explore with you as pictures are permitted. However, picnic’s, dogs and other pets are prohibited.

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The house and its gardens became the property of Michel Monet upon his father’s death in 1926. Michel did not live at Giverny so care of the property fell to Monet’s stepdaughter, Blanche. Sadly, the house and gardens fell into disrepair after the Second World War. It was not until 1966 that Michel Monet presented the estate to the Academie des Beaux-Arts as his heir.

IMG_0341When Gérald van der Kemp became the Curator in 1977 he met with Georges Truffaut, a distinguished gardener who had frequently been invited to dine with Monet during his lifetime. Devillers was able to help reconstruct the garden as it was in the time of the master.

Restoration took nearly a decade to

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bring house and gardens back to their former glory. Much had been reduced to shards and shambles from the bombings. Floors and ceiling beams had rotted, a stairway collapsed. Trees were found growing in the former big studio.

The pond had to be dug again. In the Clos normand, soil had to be removed in order to locate the original ground level. Care was taken to replant the same flower species as those discovered by Monet in his time. Private donations from generous donors made the work possible. The house received a facelift. The Japanese prints and ancient furniture were restored. Giverny has been open to the public since 1980.

While touring the house, visitors are asked and reminded not to photograph the inside.

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Stand here and be intoxicated by the perfume!

For myself, I enjoyed the day tremendously. Yet the sad exception for me was that Monet’s studio has become a gift shop. I shudder to think of what the master would have said. I do realize that these treasures must be preserved and that it takes a great deal of money. However, I would have gladly paid more for the chance to see the studio as the master would have left it.

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Don’t forget to click on each photo so you don’t miss anything!

Bisous,

Léa

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One of the smaller bridges

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Giverny Part II

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Water lilies

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.

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Japanese bridge

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

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The pond

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?

Bisous,

Léa

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Japanese bridge
From the Japanese bridge
From the Japanese bridge
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The pond
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The pond

Giverny: Part I

Pathway to Monet's front door
Pathway to Monet’s front door

The magnificent garden of the late artist, Claude Monet, is divided into two parts. There is the flower garden, Clos Normand which is in front of his house and the Japanese inspired water garden across the road. When the Monet family settled there in 1883 the gently sloping land was enclosed by a high stone wall and an orchard planted. Clos Normand measures about one hectare and in that space, Monet created a garden masterpiece of colour, symmetry and perspective. ... All of the photos you will see here were taken there in the month of May.  You will see some in bright sunshine, a few photos taken during a sudden shower and others taken when clouds did their best to hide the sun all together. Divided into flowerbeds, clumps of flowers of diverse heights creating volume. Ornamental and fruit trees direct the climbing roses, coloured banks of annuals and long-stemmed hollyhocks. Monet mixed the most rare varieties with the simplest such as poppies and daisies. Iron arches cover the central alley which takes you to or from the main door to the house. The arches are covered with climbing roses and other rose trees envelop the balustrade along the house. As is evident, Claude Monet did not care for structured or unnatural gardens. He arranged flowers by colour wanting them to grow rather freely. ... In the passing years he acquired a love for botany and exchanged plants with his friends. Always searching for rare varieties, he spent great sums of money on young plants saying that all of his money went into the garden. Bisous, ... Léa ... ... ... ... ... ...