Our visit to Monet’s garden in Giverny, France was more than just a spontaneous add-on to our Normandy travels – it was years in the making. It was in high school that I was first introduced to Claude Monet (thanks again to Academic Decathlon) and developed an appreciation and love for impressionism. My sister owned the book Linnea in Monet’s Garden and the accompanying Linnea doll as a child and I remember reading it. Fast forward many years, and my son Thomas learned about Monet in his second grade class (Thanks, Mrs. Chmelar!) and told me that sometime we should visit his garden. Finally, on our way home from Normandy, we did.
One piece of travel advice: buy tickets online. The line was not long but it moved painfully slowly.
Monet lived here from 1883 until his death in 1926. This garden was his passion and he told friends that all of his money went into it. After his death the property fell into disrepair but it was later restored and opened to the public in 1980.
The weather was perfect and the tulips were in full bloom. I’m sure the garden is gorgeous in every season, but I was glad we saw it in the spring.
Monet’s gardening style was to group plants by color and let them freely grow. He did not like a severely manicured landscape. There were a few animals at the garden also – namely, chickens.
Included in the admission price is entry to Monet’s home.
Photographs are forbidden so this is a postcard that I bought. Monet had a distinctive style – I suppose that is what made him a great artist – and many of the rooms were essentially monochromatic, like this kitchen. (The other thing that was amazing about the kitchen was how the copper cookware gleamed. Sorry, no photo of that.) The rooms were filled with antiques and artwork. Monet was especially drawn to Asian art and had quite a few pieces painted by his fellow impressionists also.
Technically this photo was taken in the house – but not of the house. (No worries, I asked the docent if it was okay.) This is the balcony on the second floor of the house.
This is the view from the balcony. Beautiful!
We took lots and lots and lots of photographs (Jeremy and I each had a camera) and I selected only a few to post. It was difficult to choose!
Why did the Gorlines cross the road? To get to the pond, of course. Accessible by a tunnel beneath the road, the water garden is an iconic image in Monet’s work. I had recently been at the Orangerie in Paris to see the water lilies series in Paris so it was a thrill to actually be there.
Also fascinating about visiting the water garden was the noise. Not from the tourists – and there were plenty – but from the frogs! There were dozens of frogs in the midst of their spring mating rituals and their noisy calls filled the air.
We had to wait our turn to get a photograph on the famous Japanese bridge.
I think this is my favorite photo taken at the water garden. So serene!
The gift shop was the last stop. I purchased a few postcards.
It doesn’t look exactly the same, but I can definitely see where Monet got his inspiration.