One of my absolute favorite, favorite things from our recent trip to Paris was the day I spent with my Mom visiting Giverny (while my sister and dad took off to check out Normandy, a bucket-list item for my dad!). If you’re visiting Paris and looking to take a day trip, I can’t recommend it highly enough. The house and gardens were so incredibly beautiful, and it was for sure one of the most memorable experiences from the trip.
For those who don’t know, Giverny was Claude Monet’s home in the French countryside, where he lived and painted from 1883-1926. There are two main gardens on the grounds – the Japanese-inspired garden (recognizable from Monet’s waterlilies paintings), and then the Clos Normand, which is the garden that sits in front of the house. I was definitely looking forward to seeing the famed waterlilies from Monet’s paintings “in the flesh,” but actually wound up being even more enamored with the Clos Normand. It just had so many gorgeous colors, the landscape architecture was incredible, and I couldn’t get enough of the beautiful blooms in all shapes and sizes (as you’ll see below!).
The Clos Normand, otherwise known as Monet’s incredibly dreamy front yard.
These “lollipop” style rosebushes were just the best thing EVER. How pretty is that?? And there were so many of them.
We got lucky because we visited right during the height of the rose season (late May-early June)…it was hot, but worth it to see the roses in full bloom.
The house was all pink with green shutters, with plenty of art and amazingly colorful rooms inside. In the room where Moet used to paint (which overlooks the garden), they had the walls just covered in his original paintings – really cool to see them up close. The house beautifully blended the indoors with the outdoors and fit in so perfectly with the surrounding gardens. You could just picture Monet flinging those windows open and taking in the incredible view – how inspiring.
Imagine looking out your bedroom window and this is your front yard…a dream.
It was just such a pleasure to walk through these gardens – the way they’re laid out, the arrangement of the plantings, and with the house nestled in the background among the hills of the French countryside…everything was just. So. Beautiful! Monet (and now, the incredible groundskeepers) somehow created a perfect combination of a “wild,” sort of untamed, informal feeling, like you were in a field of wildflowers, yet at the same time it felt also tidy and purposeful, featuring meandering pathways and beautiful trellises with roses trailing along. It looked effortless, and yet believe me, the way these plants and flowers are arranged is no accident – it’s an art.
Even if a trip to Giverny isn’t in your immediate plans, you can still take a “virtual visit” on the Foundation’s website. It was one of the most memorable places I’ve ever been and I hope these pictures convey just a little bit of the magic!
PS – I’ve added a few prints from this post into the Etsy shop!