Monday, 19 August 2013

A garden like no other (Monet's Giverny).

One of the hardest things about going overseas and visiting world renown gardens is that most of the time they still don't compare. I am extremely blessed with what I have situated just outside my door, but on the odd occasion I stumble upon a garden that really is worth writing home about. The most recent occurrence of this was when I was in France with family.

It was the beginning of spring: winter's weather with the colours of spring.

In the Jardin des Tuileries this was relieved by the cherry blossoms (or similar) that dotted the paths.

 In Jardin du Luxembourg the colours amplified again with beds of tulips defining the paths along which we were allowed to walk.

But this was nothing compared with Giverny.

Giverny is a small town outside of Paris, but referes more specifically to the garden of Claude Monet. It is the subject of countless of his paintings, including the water lily series (pl).  the inspiration behind his famous water lily paintings, the green bridge crossing the personal lake, painted in all seasons.

Giverny has been planted to ensure that no matter what the season, the time of year, the weather, it is always alive with flowers. Had we gone latter in the year this would have meant tentacles of nasturtiums weaving their way across the paths, a sight that is as familiar to me as a eucalyptus must be to a koala; in our own garden, nasturtiums are viewed as little more that pretty weeds that get ripped out as often as they get left alone. In the iciness of France in April this meant beds of tulips, daffodils and hyacinths while in the trees above the pink apple blossoms were slowly unfurling their petals, clinging to the remnants of the recent rains.

I don't think Monet expected to see hoards of small children scampering across his bridge shepherded by teachers and parents each one petrified lest one should happen to 'accidentally' fall in.

I suppose if you cannot afford a house of glass, or it's just not a practical suggestion, the next best thing is to paint your house to reflect back the colours of the garden around.

A sunset tulip, providing the warmth of colours missing in the sun.

 I have no idea what this is, though I know I've been told at least twice already. I just can't think of it as anything other than a very catholic bleeding heart bush.

Thank you Monet.

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