May 16, 2009

Inspiration de Jardin: Giverny Musée des Impressionismes

Flowers are planted in sweeps of overlapping color in the gardens. Much like an impressionist painting, the gardens at the Giverny Musée des Impressionismes blur the lines of color so that it takes close inspection to identify the individual flowers planted in the gardens.

The village of Giverny, France is the location of the home and gardens of artist Claude Monet. It is just a short stroll down a village lane from Monet's home to the Museum of Impressionism. During our recent visit, the museum had a special exhibit of Monet's garden (jardin) paintings. Monet's paintings are on loan from the Musée d'Orsay in Paris. The exhibit runs until August 15.

We went to the art museum to see Monet's paintings and to have lunch. We had already toured Monet's house and gardens during the morning. The lunch of quiche and salad served at the museum cafe was quite wonderful, and I recommend it when visiting Giverny.

It was great to see Monet's paintings of his gardens after seeing his gardens in person. I will be writing about Monet's gardens when I organize the 200+ photos from that visit.

Twenty of Monet's art interpretations of his gardens were on display at the museum. The small Musée des Impressionismes was not crowded during our visit, so we were often alone in the rooms with Monet's garden paintings. During our week in Paris, we also saw Monet's paintings at the Musée d'Orsay, Musée de l'Orangerie (where Monet's famous Water Lilies panels surround an entire room), and the Louvre.

The fact that the art museum grounds are planted with several small gardens was a pleasant surprise and worth a mention to any gardener making a trip to Giverny. These gardens at the Impressionism art museum are nicely organized by hedge divisions, turning each color scheme into an individual garden room. The quaint village lanes in Giverny add to the charm of the gardens.

Forget-me-nots (Myosotis) are often used in combination with tulips. I later identified the variety when visiting the Jardin des Plantes in Paris. The Forget-me-nots are Myosotis sylvatica Sylva series 'Rose' (pink), 'Snow' (white), and 'Blue'.

Since our trip was during the spring bloom, other flowers that we saw included roses, clematis, poppies, pansies, wallflowers, alliums and irises -- and more. Every garden, large or small, was a delight to visit!

Story and photos by Freda Cameron. Location: village of Giverny, France. May 2009
Freelance travel writer. My current fiction writing projects include a completed manuscript and several works in progress.

By the way, my name is pronounced fred-ah, not freed-ah. Thank you.

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