Monet's Garden at Giverny
Monet’s Garden at Giverny is a garden oasis in Normandy. Giverny has been made famous from Monet’s paintings from his Waterlilies to his family enjoying life in the gardens.
Claude Monet first spotted Giverny on a train trip along the Seine. Monet brought the land where he built his Pink Home for his large family and gradually build the gardens that grew from a rose bed by the window silt down towards the river where he made a pond for his waterlilies to grow.
The garden is divided into 2 parts, the Waterlily Pond and the Bed of Flowers as well as being able to visit his house along with the studio he painted in. The best way to visit the garden is by heading to the Waterlily Pond first, taking your time to stroll around the water seeing how every angle is an impressionist painting. Make sure you stop to pause on the Japanese Bridge underneath the Wisteria as you admire what Claude Monet build and can see his vision through your own eyes.
The second garden is the beds and rows of Flowers of all sorts and colours from Hollyhocks, Tiger-lilies, Lavender, Geraniums to Roses and everything wonderful in between. It is an enchanting garden to wander about, it must have given Monet and his family years of joy to call this secret garden their home. Once at the top of the garden head into Monet’s House to discover the pastel rooms he decorated from Japanese Print Artwork, to his wonderful studio covered in his paintings which I would gladly call my home, to the views overlooking the Normandy landscape then downstairs again into his yellow dining room. You will be kicking yourself that his home is not on Airbnb.
One you have had your fill of his gardens, why not head into the village of Giverny. There are many cafes to enjoy local Normandy Cuisine or wander down the lanes to discover the Musee des Impressionnismes which host many different exhibits throughout the year.
I have been lucky enough to visit Monet’s Garden twice in my life, in 2 different seasons. The first time was during Autumn which ended up being my favourite, not only where there minimal tourist visiting the gardens but the garden was alive with such vivid red, yellow and orange colours, colours I had never seen in a painting by Monet. It was the perfect day to stroll around the garden in peace and in mild weather to appreciate the life Monet had.
Summer is ideal as well, but when visiting in Summer make sure you go early in the morning as the loads of tourist on buses and school children will spoil your day as everyone pushes for the perfect photos. But do not let this put you off visiting the Garden, I say it just to warn you to be calm and find ways to be at peace in this garden. During summer the flowers in the garden are so much brighter, the palette is full of vivid pinks and purple not to mention the smell of wisteria and lavender all over the garden. The waterlilies are in full bloom and you can see why Monet choice to paint in this beautiful light.
When visiting Monet’s Garden at Giverny it is best to prebook your ticket before your visit via the website, which will allow you to skip the line. Skip the Line queue is down a little lane way which is reached by the main road (turn left before the gardens) or by the main street in the Village (turn right before the gardens).
To get to Giverny is easy enough, you can either drive there with parking found across the main road which is free. If that is full up there, there is also another car park just on the edge of the village. It takes around an hour to drive to from Paris.
Getting to Giverny via public transport from Paris is even easier. All trains leave from Gare Saint-Lazare to Vernon taking from around 45mins. They leave frequently but it is best to double check on your chosen date for visiting, the tickets costing around 14€ and it is best to book in advance. Once you have arrived at Vernon, head out of the train station you can either hop on a Shuttle Bus (Return ticket is 10€) or Shuttle Train (Return Ticket is 8€) of course I clearly choose the shuttle train, because it was cuter. But all modes of transport will hand out a schedule that will pick you back up to ensure you are on time for your train back to Paris.
Monet’s Garden at Giverny is the perfect day trip out of Paris. Not only is it a chance to see a wonderful place in France but it is a place of pilgrimage for all those who adore the Impressionist Art Movement as much as I do. You can never go wrong with a day amongst the roses in Giverny.
Monet’s Garden at Giverny is open from the end of March to the beginning of November every year. Open from 9.30am to 5.30pm every day during the season. Entry cost around 12€ per adult including e-ticket. For updated information please refer to the Garden’s Website.