Saturday, 19 June 2010

What I Did On My Holidays

The first day back from the school holidays when I was a child in primary school, was taken up mostly by writing a "composition", about What I Did In The Holidays.  And I could never think what to write, all the long summer days had paled into Autumn and Back to School, -  maybe it's just that children are best at "now" as opposed to "last week" or in my case even "ten minutes ago"!

Anyway, I've improved a bit now and can report that I've just come back from a trip to France and one of the lovely places we visited was Monet's famous garden at Giverny, not far from Paris. I was really looking forward to visiting this famous garden, and I thought you might like to see a few of the pictures I took.
But first here's Monet himself in his later years in his garden probably around 1920.

Bit of a dapper old chap I think, he was fond of the good things in life, and like to dress, and live well.
 And here's my picture of Monet's Garden now, a little too much ironmongery on show here, and not enough rose I think.

And as I walked around the garden I felt that there was a greater concern with keeping up a colourful display for the visitors, than in maintaining the garden in the way in which Monet might have known it.  Call me an old fuddy duddy (go on, I dare you) and maybe I've just been to too many National Trust "restored" gardens, and whilst I'm indeed no Monet expert, I don't think the old boy would have recognized some parts of his garden.
Would he for example, have had bedding displays of Impatiens, busy lizzies, like this

 or, (look away now, James) bedding geraniums (pelargoniums) worthy of any local authority roundabout display. I may be wrong, but I think probably not.

And whilst some of the climbing roses were absolutely lovely, there seemed too many modern floribunda varieties, (which I noticed are very popular in many french gardens) such as this bed of Centenary of Lourdes standards.

So loads of flowers, bright colours, and this may well be what Monet would have had were he still here, he certainly went to the french rose society's annual trials to find out what the latest thing was, and among his favourite "new" roses was the vigorous shocking pink rambler "American Pillar". So he certainly loved colour.
Anyway, the second half of the garden is the famous lake with the water lilies, which also  feature in Monet's  paintings. This part of the garden is wonderfully restful, and a delight, as you can see from even my amateur photography skills.

Here's Monet's Water Lilies


and Monet's Boat...


So, all in all, though I have some reservations on the planting, this is a wonderful garden, with plenty to see. It's always going to be busy though, so don't expect to have the place to yourself.
And finally I was pleased to note that Monet was apparently a poultry keeper, so here's..

Monet's chicken.

A Light Sussex if I'm not mistaken..

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