Broad Strokes

by LM

The bridgeA couple of weeks ago on my aforementioned trip to Paris, I had the good fortune of visiting Giverny, the house and garden of the painter Claude Monet. For whatever reasons, his paintings have never been high on my “love list”, but the guy had a garden, so what the hell – that bumps him up a few notches.

It was an overcast morning as we peddled through the town of Vernon out to the estate on a pair of rickety rental bicycles. After the initial surprise of how small it was (Isn’t that always the case? Like seeing a celebrity on the street.), we locked up the bikes, cut though the crowds and made our way into the gardens.

The Gardens

It was a really lovely experience. There is something about a garden in the last stages of summer/early autumn that I love. Something that is sort of busted and broken but still insanely beautiful that makes me feel good – a garden giving it’s last hurrah before the impending frost. Everything was a colorful mismash, but because of the scale of the plants and the way they towered over one’s head, it exuded a sense of confidence and power – not in any way fussy or indecisive. The water lily pond was sensational. Maybe it was knowing that I was in Monet’s garden, maybe it was having seen those water lily paintings a thousand times – whatever it was, every willow leaf and water ripple seemed like a brush stroke. It was nice.

The rose arbor with nasturtiums.I love a fruit tree. And dahlias!Very, very tall helianthus.

The pondThe pondRose trellis at the pondThe house was pretty great too. No surprise, he had a way with color. The walls were all lush, saturated shades, be it stamen yellow or spring sky blue. Picture taking was a no-no, so I have nothing to show you. But no matter, the gardens were the best part. Enjoy!

From the front doorGiverny green benchesSheep