Famous Flora: Monet’s Garden

Monet's Garden Bridge Giverny

After seeing countless renditions of Monet’s water lilies on museum walls, we finally laid our eyes on the real thing.

Pink and white water lilies, perched on bright green pads, decorated the surface of the pond in Monet’s garden in Giverny, France. The artist captured them on canvas while floating on the water, his studio a small wooden boat. The pond and its floral finery are the centerpiece of the tangled, once-tranquil garden that inspired Monet for more than forty years until his death in 1926.

Our first visit to the artist’s place was several years ago in early April just after it opened for the season. There were no water lilies in bloom then and about a quarter of the crowd. This time, in summer, even shortly after opening, throngs of admirers clogged the pathway circling the pond and the Japanese-inspired foot bridge spanning it.

“My garden is my most beautiful masterpiece,” Monet claimed.

Monet's Garden Giverny

Of course, water lilies are just one of the features of Monet’s botanic masterpiece. Elsewhere in the garden, tulips, irises, poppies, and other flora he painted are on display at various times throughout the year. And in front of the artist’s picturesque, green-and-pink abode—which can be toured—row after row of abundant wildflowers flank rose-draped arbors.

But the water lilies are the star attraction. Although picturesque, the garden seemed like it was missing a vital element in early spring when they hid their charms. It’s worth enduring the peak-season crowds to see them. After all, they’re quite possibly the most famous flowers in the world.

Monet

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8 Comments on “Famous Flora: Monet’s Garden”

  1. visualriver October 17, 2014 at 9:41 am #

    Thank you so much for posting this. I love seeing it as it is today.

    Like

  2. Keisha || The Girl Next Door is Black October 17, 2014 at 1:51 pm #

    So amazing that you got to see this in person!

    Like

  3. Savoury Image October 17, 2014 at 2:04 pm #

    I once considered a flower photography workshop that was held in Giverny. It looks like it would be a fun way to spend some time.

    Like

  4. redjim99 October 17, 2014 at 3:13 pm #

    I have seen the full size painting in the Orangerie, Paris. Amazing to be able to stand so close and see the brush strokes then stand back and see the whole changing display as you walk around the seasons in the room.

    Jim

    Like

  5. Louise October 18, 2014 at 6:20 pm #

    Great photos. I must say I’m not a big fan of Monet’s paintings, but the garden looks nice. As I saw your photos it reminded me of a book I read as a child, called “Linnea in Monet’s Garden”. I had to look it up, and little did I know it had been translated into 20 different languages! I was obviously not the only one to enjoy the book. Both your photos and the book bring out that magical feeling of actually “being there”.

    Like

  6. Jessica @ Boarding Pass October 22, 2014 at 6:52 pm #

    Amazing photos! This is on my list for a future trip to Paris!

    Like

  7. TonyJ2 December 31, 2014 at 6:11 pm #

    Have to agree, Monet’s garden is fantastic, and let’s you get into the environment of many of his most famous paintings.
    We arrived late one afternoon, just as the rains came and the tourist hordes left. Within 30 minutes the rain stopped, the sun crept out from behind the clouds and it was us two and just a handful of others. Absolutely tremendous!

    Like

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Impressions of Normandy | Everywhere Once - October 26, 2014

    […] Monet’s garden in Giverny is the quintessential stop on the Impressionist trail, but it’s certainly not the only one. Continue west further into Normandy, and you’ll come across some other places where he was inspired to paint. […]

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