Monet’s most beautiful masterpiece:
Claude Monet (1840-1926) is best remembered as French impressionist painter of beautiful landscapes and water lilies. But he is reputed to have said, “My garden is my most beautiful masterpiece.”
Monet’s purchased a home in Giverny, France and took up residence there in 1883. The landscaping of the property, and the creation of his flower and water gardens quickly became a passion.
The flower garden
Nearest to the house is a flower garden named “Clos Normand.”
“The land is divided into flowerbeds where flower clumps of different heights create volume. Fruit trees or ornamental trees dominate the climbing roses, the long-stemmed hollyhocks and the coloured banks of annuals. Monet mixed the simplest flowers (daisies and poppies) with the most rare varieties. The central alley is covered over by iron arches on which climbing roses grow. Other rose trees cover the balustrade along the house. At the end of the summer nasturtiums invade the soil in the central alley. Claude Monet did not like organized nor constrained gardens. He married flowers according to their colours and left them to grow rather freely” (giverny.org).
The water garden
The land for Monet’s water garden was purchased a decade after his arrival at Giverny.
“The water garden is full of asymmetries and curves. It is inspired by the Japanese gardens that Monet knew from the prints he collected avidly. In this water garden you will find the famous Japanese bridge covered with wisterias, other smaller bridges, weeping willows, a bamboo wood and above all the famous nympheas which bloom all summer long. The pond and the surrounding vegetation form an enclosure separated from the surrounding countryside. Never before had a painter so shaped his subjects in nature before painting them. And so he created his works twice. Monet would find his inspiration in this water garden for more than twenty years.” (giverny.org).
The gardens at Giverny have been open to the public since 1980, and welcome 500,000 visitors annually during the seven months of the year in which they are available for viewing.
Below is my pinterest board for Monet’s garden. If you hover and scroll, you’ll find many images of this beautiful site.