Ten years after his arrival at his house in Giverny, Monet bought the piece of land neighbouring his property on the other side of the railway (now a road). The land was crossed by a stream, the Ru, which eventually runs into the River Seine. Monet had a small pond dug, in spite of opposition from the local farmers. They were afraid that his exotic plants would poison the water.
Later the pond was be enlarged to its present size. The water garden is full of meandering curves and shady areas. It was inspired by the Japanese gardens that Monet knew from the prints he collected.
We visited Monet’s garden on 10 August 2011. It is located 80 km West from Paris, France in the village of Giverny. Claude Monet, a master of impressionist painting, was born in 1840. He rented a house at Giverny in 1883, a few years later he purchased the house. He lived there for 43 years, until his death in 1926. He developed the garden to provide subjects for his painting.
The garden is in two parts; near the house are herbaceous borders. In a separate area cross a main road is the lily pond with its Japanese bridge made famous by Monet’s paintings. Since the road is quite busy with tourist traffic, a pedestrian tunnel has been constructed to give the visitors easy access to the water gardens.
This first post features pictures of Monet’s house and the herbaceous borders.
I have two varieties of iris growing by my garden pond. One that has blue/mauve flowers grows in the water and the other that has yellow flowers grows in the soil just behind the pond. The iris strikes me as the most regal of flowers. They are just coming into flower. Unfortunately the lifespan of each bloom is very short and the display is soon over.
What wildlife is lurking in the pond? My pond does not have any ornamental fish so it is a haven for many types of wildlife. In the Spring dozens of frogs appear from nowhere to do their mating. When the frogspawn has been laid they disappear back to whence they came. Where they live I do not know because I do not come across them during normal gardening activities. The pond is now busy with tiny tadpoles. When these become tiny frogs they will also disappear just like their parents.
I was looking out of the back room window earlier and the sunlight shimmering on the pond made me reach for my camera. I was taking a picture of the terracotta frogs on the pond wall when I noticed a real frog looking out of the water. The frog stayed perfectly still while I took her picture and was still there a few minutes later when I went back to get a closer shot having reviewed the ones I had taken.
When I enlarged the pictures on my computer screen I realised that the frog was not alone. On a leaf just above the frogs head was a tiny insect with a scorpion-like tail. Maybe the frog was waiting patiently for the insect to come within range of her tongue. What do you think?
Three terracotta frogs on the pond wall.
A real frog. Can you spot the tiny insect above the frog?
Is the frog waiting for the insect to come within range of her tongue?