I achieved a long-held ambition to visit Monet’s garden at Giverny, in Normandy, France. My research revealed that many visitors are disappointed because the garden is too crowded with tourists. My French skills meant that I could find my own way and visit the garden independently at the beginning and end of the day, rather than the busy time of coach tours. (My travel details appear below for reference).
On arrival, I headed straight to the famous Water Lily garden with my preprinted ticket (most visitors and tour parties start with the house). I was struck by the enormous size of the pond. There are different views to be admired from multiple angles. The pond is kept clear of weed, so that you can see the trees, clouds and sky reflected in the water. I also reflected on the colours that Monet saw and the exquisite Normandy light.
The garden overflows with colourful flowers. Many of the walkways are quite narrow, so I was especially glad that I was not part of a long, snaking line of tourists behind a tour guide.
© Karen Andrews
I greatly enjoyed my stay. Giverny is a very neat and well-presented village running along a main, pedestrianised street. It includes an art gallery and garden, cafés and takeaways, the church with the Monet family tomb and a memorial to British airman who crashed nearby in World War Two. There were a number of school parties present during my stay.
Having achieved my ambition, I would now like to revisit when the Irises are in flower.
© Karen Andrews
My Previous Blog
Painting the Modern Garden on Art Exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts, 6 April 2016
My Travel to Giverny
I travelled by train from Paris St-Lazare to Vernon-Giverny. I caught the bus to Giverny. There are footprints on the ground guiding you to the buses.
How to get to Giverny by other means
I booked my ticket(s) online in advance on the Fondation Claude Monet website.
I stayed overnight in Giverny at the comfortable, 2-star Hotel Restaurant La Musardière with en suite bathroom but no lift. It is conveniently situated just a stone’s throw from the garden entrance to beat the crowds. The hotel appears to have been refurbished since my visit. I ate on the terrace during the evening and shared a taxi with Australian and South Korean guests back to the station the next day.
Karen does not seek or receive any commercial interest or advantage from this blog. She is not promoting any business venture. She simply loves to share fascinating facts about plants. These pages illustrate her love of plants, botany, biodiversity, gardens and creative expression. There is always so much to learn about plant diversity. This blog is designed as a showcase for photography, commentary on plants and wildlife, gardens and other places visited, horticulture and related topics. Viewpoints are her own, not those of her employer.
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