Giverny is the little village about an hour outside Paris where Claude Monet, the Impressionist artist, and his wife lived with their 8 children from a blended family. Middle-aged Monet moved to this pink farmhouse with the green shutters in 1883 and lived there for 40 years. In front of Monet’s house are 2 large gardens separated by a village street. The garden immediately in front of the house was called the walled garden while the garden across the street (joined by an underground tunnel so it’s not necessary to cross the street) is the water garden, a large pond full of water lilies and surrounded by weeping willow trees, colorful flower beds, and Japanese bridges. Monet cleared the land of pine trees and designed his own symmetrical beds. You can’t help but be impressed by the way the color scheme of each bed contributes to the look of the whole garden. And it all just looks so . . . so . . . Monet
Last time we visited the gardens was on May 1st, Labor Day, and it was a zoo. So we avoided going on that day this time. However, the day we chose this trip turned out to be Victory in Europe Day when they celebrated the end of WWII in Europe. We can’t win. (Actually I think France observes 4 holidays in May so it’s especially hard to avoid them.) So there were crowds and I don’t think the flower beds collectively were quite as pretty as last time although there were a lot of pretty individual flowers. In particular, the wisteria and rhododendrons were prettier this time but most of the tulips were past their prime. They replant constantly, so once again, it’s the luck of the draw. So here’s some of what we saw, first some pretty scenes, followed by some very colorful individual flowers.