In contrast to the grey wet day when we visited the war memorials of the Somme, the sun shone and there was a little warmth in the air.
Giverny is a monument to Claude Monet and the impressionist’s artist colony that developed around him at the turn of the 20th century.
Centre stage is Monet’s house and garden.
Devestated by his wife’s death, he took up residence with a friend whose husband had run away. His two and her six children made a decent house full and he eventually purchased the house he rented and then set about creating a garden, which inspired much of his work. And now I know why.
On this delightful autumn day, with soft sunlight filtering between the trees, the garden was alive with flowers. The garden was full of the strong yellows, oranges and reds you expect at the end of the season as well as soft pinks and creams and dazzling blues and purples that leave you gasping.
Autumn creates a chaotic, tangled growth. I can imagine the gardens being quite orderly in Spring, but flowers were spilling over each other for their last flash of glory before hibernating in the Winter months.
Yes, the lily pond had flowers which were slow to open in the cooler air, but the lawns were also ablaze with crocus, many recovering from yesterday’s persistent rain.
Monet’s house is as colourful as his garden. I loved the yellow dining room – such a happy place to eat, drink and be merry and an amazing contrast to the orderly blue kitchen. Sadly, photos not allowed in the house.
Monet had a huge passion for Japanese art and there were many woodblock prints covering all sorts of subjects including gruesome battles featuring headless warriors, exotic women bathing and pearl diving and Japanese stylised westerners.
Between us we managed nearly 400 photos. We will share just a few with you, here is a sample.