Sunday, October 25, 2015

Monet's Giverny Garden: The Clos Normand Flower Garden

During our travels in France in September, we had the opportunity to see Monet's Giverny gardens. It was one of the highlights of the trip for me.  There are two main gardens at Giverny - the Japanese Water Garden, and the Clos Normand Flower Garden.  I previously posted about the water garden, so now, onto the flower garden near Monet's country house...

During September, the garden is bursting with bright colors, mostly from dahlias.  Here, in the arched path that leads up to the house, nasturtiums spill out onto the gravel pathway.  I would love to make my way back in late spring sometime, to see the wisteria vines hanging down from the archways.

Monet lived in this beautiful country home with his family for 43 years, from 1883 to 1926, so he had quite awhile to build up his beautiful gardens.  

Every path contains a new treasure of plants and color combinations.  Monet has over 200,000 annuals, biennials and perennials on display in his garden throughout the year - that's insane!  Monet and his handful of master gardeners since truly are masters of succession gardening, a gardening skill I continue to try and develop.

The sunflower season was just wrapping up during our visit.  I was able to find a few stragglers in the mix.

I absolutely love the cottage garden style of the painter's garden, with rows upon rows of various flowers, packed to the brink, but with plenty of space to thrive.

The lavender season had just ended - I bet this path was quite stunning with spires of purple a month or two prior to our visit.

There is so much going on in every nook and cranny of the garden.  If I had had more time to explore, I could have walked these paths for hours.  I'd love to come back in the spring time to see all the spring bulbs in bloom.  Here, you can see some remnants of what appear to be irises.

There were a lot of interesting surprises in the garden as well, plants that I'm not use to seeing in Texas gardens, like these various amaranth plants.  It seems that there are some varieties of amaranth that can be grown in Texas.  I'd like to give it a try, since it is a unique plant, with very bold burgundy colors that look great in the fall garden.

There were other various surprises in the garden as well, with little treasures everywhere you looked.

I even spotted some plants that are native or adaptive Texas plants, like the Bat Faced Cuphea,


and various salvias (which were favorites among the pollinators).

But the most prominent flower in the garden, by far, were the dahlias.  Everywhere I turned, there was a different species of dahlia.  Here are just a few...

This little spider found shelter in the dahlia flower petals.

Such photogenic flowers!

I can see why Monet was such a great painter - it is impossible to not be inspired by these amazing views.

We were able to take a tour of Monet's farmhouse.  You can tell his love for color went beyond the canvas and garden - the rooms in his home were brightly colored and had certain themes, like his yellow dining room, complete with many Japanese prints, which I'm sure helped inspire his water garden.

Then there is the blue kitchen, with an impressive stove and oven, complimented by various type of copperware.

Peering out the windows, you can see a small portion of his beautiful gardens.

With these beautiful gardens, it is no wonder that Monet is quoted as saying, "I perhaps owe becoming a painter to flowers." Who wouldn't want to paint this beautiful landscape?


  1. The variety of colors and flowers is amazing and beautiful. It would be wonderful to have that view of a garden. I enjoyed your tour of both the house and gardens.

    Hopi Red Amaranth is a prolific re-seeding annual in San Antonio so it should grow well in Austin too.

    1. Thanks for the amaranth recommendation - I'll have to try it out!

  2. Absolutely stunning. I could look at those dahlias for days and days. Obviously this is a destination that invites leisurely exploration (and as you propose - return visits). Thank you for taking time away from your own experience to take photos and share them here with us!

    1. The dahlias are insane. I can only imagine how many bouquets you could make with all of them. So beautiful!

  3. Ah, Rebecca! Thank you so much for the tour. I'm garden-green with envy. I have a friend who's mentioned that I should join her there--I guess I'd better take her up on that.

  4. What a treat to see Monet's garden. I'm nuts for those dahlias and would grow them here if I could. It's fun to see they are growing bat-face cuphea, which I just posted about today myself.

    1. The whole experience was so amazing, but it was especially fun to see the little "Texas Treasures" tucked in among multitude of dahlias.