Awakening to Monet’s Garden

Bonjour mes amis,

First of all let’s get two things straight.

Monet’s garden is a must see when in France. It’s a wonderfully peaceful haven from bustling Paris and a fantastic insight into French Art History and Impressionism.

Secondly, to save you any heart ache, Monet’s Garden at Giverny is closed between November through to March, so its open from the 1st of April to the Ist November ( except the 26th April) with the last gates closing at 5:30pm.

Admission is 6 euro per adult and you need to catch the train from Paris to Vernon, which is the closest town to the gardens. Take the train from Gare St Lazare in Paris and forty five minutes later,  a bus will meet the train at Vernon, to take you to Giverny.(Buses meet trains every fifteen minutes or so). Alternatively, you can take a taxi or follow the signs and even walk to Giverney.

Begin earlier rather than later and you  can save a little time queueing at the entrance to Monet’s Garden, by buying your tickets online via The Foundation Claude Monet website at

http://www.fondation-monet.fr

Move through the entrance way, and allow yourself at least two hours or more to meander through the ‘Les Clos Normand’ (the garden) and Le Jardin d’Eau (the water garden), inside Monet’s House and not forgetting to view Monet’s own collection of  ‘Estampes’ (Japanese prints).There’s also a lovely bookshop to buy for family and friends back home.

Even though you won’t find any of Monet’s original artwork here, Monet lived here for over forty years (being born in 1840) and the whole place is captivating.

Monet is known as one of the fathers of Impressionism who was fascinated with how light changed the colour of things, layering his paint with brushstrokes to achieve depth of colour and shadows. Monet painted here whilst studying light and its effect on his world at Giverney. His ‘plein air’ (open air) paintings remain influential  the world over.

In 1927, after Monet died, his ‘ WaterLily’ series which was his later works, was placed in the eighty foot rooms of the Musée de l’Orangerie in the Tuileries Gardens and these are regarded by the painter, Andre Masson, as “The Sistine Chapel of Impressionism”.

Walk over the bridge across the pond and look downstream as Monet did whilst painting the water lillies (he grew himself) which became so famous.

The fondation-monet website has a fabulous chicken and onion recipe I’d like to share with you,taken from the book,’les Carnets de Cuisine de Monet’ by Clare Joyes Toulgouart.For more recipes you can purchase  her book  which is available at the bookshop within the gardens.

You will need one large chicken, 16 to 20 onions, half pound of butter, some flour, parsley, sugar, salt and pepper.

1.Brown the chicken in warm butter. Cut the onions in four, and put them around. When the chicken is well browned on all faces, sprinkle it with a little flour.
2. Salt and pepper and add  parsley. Cover and cook.
3. Take care so that onions do not stick to the saucepan. At mid cooking, add a half glass of bouillon or, if not available, hot water.
4. In a saucepan, brown one dozen small onions in butter with a little sugar and salt and pepper.

5. Serve the chicken surrounded with onions. Bon appetit!

Enjoy Giverny. Whether you get out your sketch pad, it’s up to you!

Au Revoir,

Best Wishes, Therese Waddell

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One Response to “Awakening to Monet’s Garden”

  1. […] the room wrapped by enormous panels of French Impressionism and the gardens of Giverny (remember, https://myfrenchawakening.wordpress.com/2009/12/26/awakening-to-monets-garden/ ) in all its serene colour.“Nympheas” It’s nothing like you’ve ever […]

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