May 19, 2009
Claude Monet wanted to extend his gardens at Giverny beyond the walls of his flower garden, Clos Normand. In the 1890s, he purchased adjacent property along a stream to create a pond and water garden.
To reach the pond, visitors walk through a tunnel beneath a road to reach the pathways leading to, and around, the water gardens. All along the shady paths, azaleas, rhododendron and other spring-flowering shrubs are in bloom in riotous colors of yellow, orange, pink and white. The textures of the weeping willows and the Japanese maple trees add to a sense of tapestry as you glance across the pond.
The arched, green Monet bridge is draped with the lavender wisteria that is depicted in so many of Monet's paintings. The famous water lilies float on the pond, but are not in bloom in spring - they will bloom in the summer.
When funds were raised to restore Monet's gardens, the pond had to be completely dug out again. The water gardens are a restoration interpretation, based upon Monet's his paintings and photographs. Liste des plantes et des fleurs du jardin de Claude Monet provides a list of plants in the gardens of Impressionist artist, Claude Monet.
We walked counterclockwise from the approach to Monet's bridge, waiting until we had circled the pond before crossing over it. This area of Monet's gardens is quiet, shady and so peaceful.
Story and photos by Freda Cameron; Location: Giverny, France; May 2009
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