Last week I showed a garden which has great structural outlines filled with really exuberant, colourful planting. This week is all about a garden in which light and colour are pretty much all that matters – I am talki ...
Last week I showed a garden which has great structural outlines filled with really exuberant, colourful planting. This week is all about a garden in which light and colour are pretty much all that matters – I am talking about Giverny, the home of Impressionist artist Claude Monet.
It is impossible to be in this garden without thinking of its creator and his very famous paintings of this place. It is also obviously an historic garden, so its design is, to some extent, of its time, however, I think there is always something to learn and perhaps adapt to our own gardens or modern taste.
There are two gardens at Giverny: the flower garden outside the house,
and the lily pool on the other side of a road (now accessed by a tunnel).
I am talking about the flower garden in this post. What struck me most is how little Monet cared about being artful in the overall design. There is a terrace filled with island beds of geraniums in front of the house and the rest is just strips of planting side by side, rather like in an allotment.
These straight allees are bisected by a hooped pergola running directly in line with the front door.
Unlike the garden last week there is no green framework to hold all this colourful effervescence – which makes it both exhilarating and a bit confusing.
Colour, colour. colour is the thing here – mixing tones of one shade like the deep reds above,
or here, where he brings in highlights of pink.
Then there’s a wider view where the colours of adjacent strips play with the eye and bounce back and forth.
In late summer the garden is the proverbial riot of colour. That in itself is an inspiration as my own garden tends to be a little lack-lustre in August. I will be pushing my boundaries next year thanks to this visit. Though it was thrilling to be in such a generous palette of bloom it confirmed to me that I personally like a green frame of sorts. What about you – could you go for a Giverny look?