I was a bit wary of visiting Claude Monet’s garden in Giverny. I was afraid it would be so touristy and crowded that I would come away disappointed. However, when I visited it wasn’t too crowded and it was a glorious summer’s day. The garden is divided in two by a road, with Monet’s house and original garden on one side and the Water Garden which he purchased and designed in his later years on the other. There is a tunnel that goes under the road and it creates a real sense of anticipation as you emerge from each end into the sunlight and the dazzling gardens.
I loved both gardens but the Water Garden ‘Le Jardin D’Eau’ was sublimely beautiful. Although many of the water lilies were not in flower, other beautiful plants were in bloom such as azaleas, rhododendrons and there was also the beautiful foliage of different cultivars of Japanese Maples (Acer Palmatum). All these plants offered splashes of colour that contrasted wonderfully with the greens and textures of the Weeping Willows (Salix babylonica var pekinensis ‘Pendula’) and Lombardy Poplars (Populous nigra ‘Italica’).
It was such a privilege to wander through Monet’s gardens and marvel at just how much thought, care and love has gone into the design of both gardens. It was also very inspiring to see the diverse combinations of the flowers and plants that he used and how much the garden has stayed true to his original designs and his creative spirit. Visiting Claude Monet’s garden at Giverny gives you a much greater and more profound appreciation of his work and shows why nature was truly Monet’s greatest subject.