[oqeygallery id=22]Since I mentioned it in a recent post, I thought it might be time to share my pictures and thoughts about the garden. It was one of the first gardens that I visited outside of Paris and I’ve returned over and over again. Although my earlier trips weren’t captured on camera, I have been there every month of the year while it’s open, except for July. I intend to fix that someday.
The garden is always beatiful. One October vist after a heavy frost, the naturtiums were grey mush but the colors reflected in the pond were incredible. The garden is well funded. The staff start hundreds of thousands of annuals every year so that there is never an empty space. They strive to be true to Monet’s artistic vision for the garden, although plant materials may be somewhat different than he might have used. I recommend that you find time to visit Museum Marmottan and the Musee d’Orsay to see his work on the same trip when you visit this garden. The spirit of the place is somehow shared in all of Monet’s work.
Many people choose to take a train or a tour bus from Paris to see this garden and that works, but then you are on the same schedule as hundreds of other tourists. The train stops in Vernon, over three miles away from the garden. There is a bus that finishes the trip but the one time that I took the train, there were too many people for the bus and many people were left to find taxis and other conveyance on their own. Rick Steve suggests that the last hours in the day have the least tourist traffic and I’ve found that to be generally good advice. After the bus leaves to take the tourists back to the Paris-bound train. Although packed with beauty and history, it’s a small garden; an hour or two will do it justice. Leave extra time if you want to tour inside the house (it costs more) as there are often lines.
The small town around Giverny is worth some time, too. The Museum of American Art has pretty plantings, keeping with the theme. And the hotel and restaraunt Baudy has a rose garden worth visiting, especially in early summer. (Do watch out for the nettles.) The visit was free if I ate there, if they still have it, try the omlette with rabbit and potatoes. It’s a classic so I expect they still do.