French artist Oscar-Claude Monet (1840-1926) lived in Giverny, northwest of Paris, France. He lived and worked here for 43 years, until his death in 1926.
When Monet settles in Giverny, the long, pink stucco house had a one hectare garden comprising an apple orchard and a kitchen garden. A wide path lined with cypress and spruce trees led from the gate to the main door. Enthralled by the possibilities (Clos Normand), he created the garden of his colourful dreams.
He cut down the spruce trees and replaced them with metallic arches still visible today. The central path is lined with nasturtiums and roses. The apple trees have been replaced with cherry trees and Japanese apricot trees. He also planted thousands of flowers: daffodils, tulips, narcissus, iris, oriental poppies, and peonies… On the left side of the garden, he created rectangular beds of single colours, resembling the colours on an artist’s palette. He also created his now well-known Water Garden, filled with water lilies – the nymphéas – which inspired his paintings.
There are now eight gardeners tending Monet’s garden.
Photographer: Martina Nicolls