The Lower Garden At Giverny
After Paris, we took the train to Vernon, then got a ride to the village of Giverny, where we stayed overnight. The next morning, we visited Claude Monet’s garden.
Monet really created two gardens. There is the upper garden, which has vibrant masses of color emerging from rectangular beds – sometimes called the paintbox garden. Then there is the lower garden, which is created around an oval pond. Where the upper garden is exciting, the lower is tranquil. Instead of explosions of color emerging from geometric beds, the lower garden is mostly curves, shades of green, and leafy textures.
Monet loved Japanese art, and this influence shows in the lower garden. A print Monet owned is thought to be the inspiration for this bridge. I really like that shade of blue.
The bridge is also famous for the wisteria that engulfs it. We missed the glorious masses of blue that occurs in in late spring, but there was some modest rebloom that was still lovely.
The Japanese influence is also seen in the bamboo growing on either side of a stretch of path. When we were there the bamboo had grown so tall it required staking – see the wire stretched across the photo? I will return to the issue of staking when I write about the upper garden.
This pond is famous in part because of the series of paintings that Monet did of the water lilies growing there. The water lilies were blooming during our visit, though they were not yet at their height. For me, the pastel colored lilies and round lily pads added to the sense of tranquility.
Watery reflections are another essential aspect of this garden. The reflections of the willow trees are especially entrancing, as the trees seem to exist in two adjoining worlds.
I should mention that the lower garden is not entirely without bright colors. There is a bit of Rudbeckia, Phlox, some kind of Impatiens, Rose of Sharon, Japanese Anemone, and of course the water lilies.
Plus the berries on the Viburnum opulus.
My next post or two will be on my own poor neglected garden, then I’ll get back to Giverny.
What are your favorite gardens for tranquility?