Garden Photo of the Day

Maria’s visit to Monet’s garden

Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Maria Fleming

If you’ll recall, we featured Maria Fleming’s photos of Versailles on Monday. Maria’s been sending me a few more batches of photos from perhaps less grand but equally impressive gardens, and I’ll be featuring them here and there over the next couple of weeks. Today’s installment is from Claude Monet’s garden in Giverny.

Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Maria Fleming

Maria says, “As an Impressionist painting enthusiast, I have had my heart set on visiting Giverny for many years. A trip to France in August 2010 meant I could make this wish come true. Giverny is the home of Claude Monet and the inspiration of his famous waterlily paintings.

Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Maria Fleming

“The grounds are located in a small village in Normandy and is split into two distinct areas. The first garden you visit is behind his green painted home. The beds are laid out in long rows and tend to be grouped by colour families. There are also espaliered apple and pear trees along the walks and stone fences.

Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Maria Fleming

“Sets of stairs and an underground passage that takes the visitor under a busy street link you to the second garden. Walking beside a forest of bamboo with a trout creek leads you to the infamous waterlily pond. Here you will see the arched bridge covered with wisteria that is the centre of a number of his paintings. Waterlilies of yellow, pink, peach, and cream bloom along the shore of the pond. A sense of calm prevails despite the traffic noise that links you to the 21st century.”

It’s so strange and wonderful to see actual photographs of this garden, Maria. Thanks so much!

Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Maria Fleming
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Maria Fleming
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Maria Fleming
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Maria Fleming
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Maria Fleming
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Maria Fleming
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Maria Fleming
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Maria Fleming

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View Comments


  1. dukeofargy 02/07/2013

    I had the fortune of being in these beautiful gardens a few years ago. It is magnificent to see, and even more wonderful to re-live the experience again because of your sharing your wonderful photos. Thanks so very much.

  2. bee1nine 02/07/2013

    This is such a 'treat' for me to browse through these
    glorious photo's being the home of Claude Monet. I have never
    had the pleasure to be there,so truly can appreciate now, how
    this famous painter could be so inspired to paint using all
    this surrounding beauty!
    Thank you Maria for sharing some visual history with us!:)

  3. User avater
    meander_michaele 02/07/2013

    Such beautiful pictures, Marie...I felt transported to another time. You really captured the spirit of serenity that seems to have been retained even in these modern times. I wonder if any of the willows pictured are from Monet's time? Hmmm, I can't imagine that is the case since it is my understanding that willows are not known for their longevity. How wonderful that the gardens are being preserved and replenished. Thanks so much for sharing your travels with us.

  4. wwross 02/07/2013

    Beautiful! But, how come the lily garden is "infamous"? Is there some story behind it?

  5. Quiltingmamma 02/07/2013

    Wwross - perhaps "famous" should have been used instead of "infamous". How can a simple waterlily be 'infamous' unless used as some dastardly tool? My error, and I questioned it when writing. Should have checked the dictionary BEFORE sending.
    Glad you are enjoying the photos. It is a serene place, even with the number of tourists around. They all seem to respect the serenity.
    I can't answer about the age of the willows, though there is a huge garden of bamboo enroute to the pond which feels like it has been there forever and may have been from Monet's time.
    I did a quick search to see if I could find out about the willows and came across an article stating that the property was devastated after WWII leaving only 3 trees in his studio garden. 10 years of rehabilitation and the reopening in 1980. However, the impression is one of timelessness. has good information about the gardens, including a planting list - and flowering calendar for potential visitors.

  6. MichelleGervais 02/07/2013

    OOh, that was my fault, too, Maria--I always forget the distinction between famous and infamous! Quite a difference. This garden is definitely on the famous side...

  7. User avater
    meander_michaele 02/07/2013

    Thanks, Maria, for doing a little homework on my behalf when it comes to the life span of willows esp. the ones in Monet's garden. That was really interesting information about the gardens being so damaged during WW2 and yet now, they look as one would like to think they looked during Monet's time. Your posting of his garden did take me to Wikipedia to do additional reading about him and see more of his paintings than just the ones that come more easily to mind. Thanks for the nudge!
    By the way, with your name being "quiltingmamma", I guess the logical assumption would be that that is also a passion of yours. If so, how about throwing in a couple of pictures of some of your completed works. Frankly, I'm impressed by all quilting since it's something I've never attempted to do because it takes a skill and dedication I haven't discovered in myself. And the level of intricate artistry some people take it to is so beautiful and amazing. Ha, don't mean to put any pressure on you about the quilting...just curious.

  8. CJgardens 02/07/2013

    Maria, your photos of Monet's gardens are lovely. I also enjoyed the brief history lesson. Last summer I visited the Chicago Botanic Gardens and they have an area patterned after Monet's; it was very nice even without the waterlilies in bloom. I typed a comment earlier, hit a wrong key and it disappeared. If both comments show up - oops & sorry.

  9. tractor1 02/07/2013

    That's quite a large garden. I like the bottom picture in the first row, I wonder what that is growing on that fence, or is it a living fence? It should be easy distinguishing famous from infamous, just think of me. LOL

  10. cwheat000 02/08/2013

    Maria, thank you for all the beautiful garden tour photos.

  11. Quiltingmamma 02/08/2013

    tractor1, a little late, but that is espaliered apple as a living fence. The pears are against the stone wall, but the photo didn't do it justice.

  12. csu 02/08/2013

    I was very impressed when I was there in 2000. Monet is one of my favorites and his garden is wonderful to walk through. The lily pond is as peaceful as his paintings. I don't know when they built the road through the gardens, but making a tunnel under the road was a smart thing to do. One would think that the highway would be loud, but the sounds are muted. Does any one know the name of the bright pink flowers shown on the seventh picture (going left to right- then down)?

  13. CJgardens 02/08/2013

    csu/cheryl - my guess is that they are garden phlox (paniculata), but I don't which variety. There are many color choices with garden phlox.

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