A visit to Monet’s Garden at Giverny an experience of a lifetime, something everyone should try to
achieve at sometime in their life, This is a verdant, tranquil place, just 40 minutes by train from the hub-bub of Paris, on the right bank of the Seine at its confluence with the Ru (meaning
“stream” in French), one of the branches of the River Epte.Unfortunately you are not likely to find a quiet time or place for reflection as it is very popular with visitors from around the
The Epte was for several centuries the border between two kingdoms, England on one side (because the English king was duke of Normandy) and France on the other side. Nowadays the river is a border between two regions, Normandy on one side and the area of Paris Ile de France on the other one. Giverny lies on the Norman bank; it is the first village of Normandy when coming from Paris.
The garden entrance to Monet’s house with its sugar pink stucco façade, once a cider press, is just as he found it, but the choice of apple green paint for the shutters, veranda and decking was his. The pergola is clothed in ivy and roses, with a formal bedding scheme of geraniums below, which in spring is planted with pink tulips and forget-me-nots.
As you walk round these lovingly restored gardens it will feel as if you are walking around inside an impressionist painting, the gardens are filled with poppies, lupins, delphiniums and peonies, and throughout the year the atmosphere is of abundant colour and luxuriant growth. Arched bridges, painted an acid apple green, are festooned with wisteria and the draped fronds of weeping willow frame the water lilies- Monet's painting brought unnervingly to life.
This is where he livid with his partner Alice and their eight children from 1883 until his death in 1926 and he believed that the garden was his greatest masterpiece - a bigger work than any of the paintings that the garden gave life to. Today, the gardens are maintained by the many gardeners and volunteers who work from dawn to dusk year round to ensure that the gift to the world left by the artist is regenerated year after year
The water lily pond with the Japanese bridge that features in one of the artists most famous - and certainly most reproduced - paintings forms the centre point of the garden. The plants grow in great drifts of colour and you can clearly see where the inspiration for the impressionist style of painting came from. Although the majority of this garden is based around flowers, there are some magnificent views of the lawns and shrubs planted by Claude Mone - his eye for design and balence is to be found everywhere you look - even in the smallest details.
The best time to visit Monet's garden is probably in May or June when the rhododendrons are in full bloom and the wisteria is draping itself over the Japanese bridge - but to be honest , the whole place is awe inspiring at any time of year.
A Guided Tour Tuesday to Friday, every week whilst the house and gardens are open our good friend, Ariane
Cauderlier, guide-interpreter and specialist on Claude Monet’s life organizes a conducted tour, in English. The meeting place is in the car park, La Prairie, in front of the bus station at 1pm.
Bookings are compulsory and the 6€ fee DOES NOT include admission. Please contact Ariane either by telephone: +33 (0) 2 32 51 13 53 or by clicking on this link: ariane cauderlier guide-interpreter
Open daily except Mondays from 9.30 am. to 6.00 pm. from April 1st to October 31st.
Also open Bank-Holiday Mondays during this period.
Last entrance at 5.30 pm
Groups (20 persons or more):
There is no advance sale of tickets or reservations possible for individuals.
No dogs, no picnics.
Group admissions by appointment only.
Write to Foundation Claude Monet,
Rue Claude Monet,
or by Fax: 0033 (0) 232 51 54 18