This long holiday weekend has made my long-waiting dream – a visit to Giverny – come true. Giverny, the home to the famous impressionist painter Claude Monet and his world-known Japanese inspired water garden, is about 70 km west of Paris.
Once out of the highway, we immediately found ourselves driving into wonderful countryside and through villages with narrow streets. Giverny is a small garden village with irises and wallflowers growing alongside its streets.
Monet’s garden is in two parts: the flower garden in front of his house and the famous water lily garden across the street. The flower garden is now bursting into vivid spring colours: tulips, forget-me-nots, irises, wall flowers, pansies and other spring flowers and bulbs are grouped in blocks of similar colours complimenting each other in harmony. The spring-flowering clematis is producing light pink flowers on long arches, complimenting the light pink walls of the house. Monet was such a plant lover who exchanged plants with friends, or often bought new plant species. ‘All my money goes into my garden’ he once said. I see some of myself in him (aren’t we all gardeners are alike in so many ways?!).
Across the street lies his famous lily pond, a large water garden. Though it is till early for the water lilies, the garden shines
through bamboos growing alongside a stream where the lily pond gets its water resources from, the rhododendrons next to the water are in full blossom and the wisterias above the famous bridge are just beginning to show long-stripping flower buds, birds are singing… it is here tranquil and harmonious.
One of this long weekend days happens to be my birthday. There is nowhere else I’d rather like to be than in the master’s colourful and harmonious garden, walking around, or simply sitting down on a bench among the flowers and their sweet scent, and let myself melt into the master’s living paintings. I love the garden and its atmosphere and would love to go back again and again to see the garden in its summer or autumn glory.