|The Grande Allee as Monet saw it in 1920|
|The Grande Allee in 2014|
Just outside his pink and green painted house there are beds of pelargoniums in a most unattractive mix of pink and scarlet and I wonder if these are truly authentic? His paintings show beds of red blooms. But who am I to question!
A tunnel under the road leads to the second half of Monet's garden, the lake with the waterlilies that he spent so many hours painting in his later life. It's a captivating sight and almost impossible to capture with a camera - maybe I can understand Monet's frustration and I haven't even picked up a brush!
|The Japanese bridge painted by Monet 1897-1899|
The poolside plantings again include an odd but ecclectic mix of perennials, shrubs and bedding plants. As a garden designer I cannot see the value of odd Busy Lizzies and rudbeckias popped in amongst everything else. If this is authentic OK but sad if its just done to enhance the tourist value.
Moored under the trees are two old boats. I doubt these survive from Monet's time but its whimsical to imagine the great man floating in a similar boat in the centre of his pond as he tried to capture his much loved waterlilies. Monet died in 1926 and his garden drifted into neglect for over 50 years before it was restored and opened to the public in 1980. Its worth a visit if you are ever in the area. If you are a painter you will appreciate it as the garden that inspired over 500 painters. If just a gardener you will love it just as Monet did.