Monday, November 7, 2011

Visiting Monet's Garden

The Water Lilies at Giverny

As I watch the rain outside my window here in Los Angeles,  I am remembering that one month ago today I was in France and had the wonderful experience of visiting Giverny, the home of the French Impressionist artist Claude Monet.  We drove into the French countryside one day through charming villages on our route to Giverny.  The weather was unseasonably warm in France in October and consequently we got to enjoy glorious summer- like weather on our visit to Monet's garden.

There was beauty all around us, every vista could have been a painting

Because the weather was so warm the gardens were still blooming in dazzling reds and yellows as if it were still summer.  As we walked through the grounds we fell under the magical spell of this beautiful and colorful landscape. We walked across bridges, along winding pathways, sat on old benches, and went into the house where we had a beautiful aerial view of the gardens.

The sunshine and flowers were like a poem and I could easily imagine Monet finding inspiration in this sacred place. Giverny is a place to dream, to meditate and to find visions to store away for a rainy day.

I thought about the permanence of gardens and how Monet's spirit still informs this magical place.  The lives of our great artists come to an end, but through conservation and historic preservation groups, their gardens and homes can remain forever.   We are the lucky beneficiaries of the efforts of many, many people to keep this place going.  Art and history were made here and this place is a repository for the memories of all those accomplishments.  Flowers and paintings are at the heart of this  magical place.

Monet's home --  the rooms inside are filled with color just like the garden

One of the quiet country roads that we travelled on our way to Giverny

  These images are guaranteed to bring sunshine and warmth to the chilliest winter day.  When my garden is in its wintertime mode and not doing much of anything,  I can look at these memories of Giverny and find inspiration in the magic, spirit and timelessness of this beautiful place.  


  1. Oh, thank You for reminding me! :)

    I'have almost forgotten my visit to Giverny, since it was a few years before I have started taking pictures.
    I remeber also enjoying the rest of the village :) Or was it some other place in vicinity? Where van Gogh had stayed?

  2. I remember visiting Giverny a long time ago. Your post brings back many intense memories. When you go to places that are so thoroughly inhabited by an artist's work and life, especially one you know visually so well from their art, you enter into a deep, almost spiritual kinship. It gives you a special connection that you retain. Thanks.

  3. wowww. these photos are amazing. I could almost feel the hot sun and smell the French air!

  4. How lovely! I especially like the green shutters on his home....smiles.

  5. It looks just like his paintings, doesn't it?

  6. I have wonderful memories of this place! Thanks for bringing me back...

  7. I've never been, but will go the next time we're in France. Your photographs are so beautiful, and I too, am crazy for the green shutters and trim on his home - incredibly charming.

  8. Thank you so much for your beautiful rainy day inspiration. I have never managed to get out to Giverny. Your photos are the next best thing!

  9. I haven't been, but thank you for the glimpse. I definitely got a feel for it through your pictures. I love the blue/green of the house's windows and stairs. In search of that color paint here, in fact!