Monday, July 9, 2012

Maison et Jardins de Claude Monet, Giverny

This post outlines some of our adventures on our Spring Trip in April/May 2012 - after a bit of blabbing.

Firstly: happy Monday! (grumble, mumble, blah)

Secondly: I've started a Facebook page for You had me at bonjour. If you like that sort of thing, you'll find the button doohickey over to the right there. Those buttons are new too - if you want to grab yourself some you can find a whole bunch of them here.

Thirdly: the mister completed the Etape du Tour (amateur leg of the Tour de France) yesterday. The course (in the French Alps) was 140km with three mountains - it rained and of the 10,000 participants only some 4400 finished. Proud of you Schmoopy!

Claude Monet's house in Giverny, France

Right, back to the travel: this time it's the stunning home and gardens of the painter Claude Monet which can be found in the town of Giverny, about an hour's drive west of Paris.

Tulips in one of the gardens at Claude Monet's house in Giverny, France

Monet lived here for the last 43 years of his life (he died in 1926).


Monet and the family rented the property (on 2 acres) in 1883 and in 1890 the painter's growing success meant he could buy the house and land.

Well groomed rows of flowers in Monet's garden in Giverny, France

He built up the gardens and installed the large lilly pad-encrusted pond that features in many of his works.

Some lilly pads adorn the pond at Monet's house in Giverny, France

The house has been refurbished and you can tour through it (no photos allowed of the inside). All the paintwork is exactly as it was when Monet lived in the house - he loved him some colour.

View from the second floor of the house

The gardens are just amazing and beautifully maintained. I would love to visit every three months to see the seasonal changes.


Most of the paths are roped off but the kids still had a great time running around the gardens and referring to the map given to them at the ticket office.

Meandering path through the gardens at Maison et Jardins de Monet, Giverny

The famous pond is surrounded with flowers and weeping willows. The lily pads weren't that spectacular (early spring) but I've heard in summer they almost completely cover the water's surface with leaves and blooms.


I think there was something important about these chickens (rare breed or whatnot) but I can't remember and I couldn't be bothered googling chickens for half an hour. I hope you understand.


There are a few cafés/restaurants near chez Monet - places with outdoor seating suitable for young families. We had the best soup ever (lentil and bacon, of all things) followed by a crêpe made in this cute little caravan.


The café was also a garden centre and had some of these:


I don't have much more to add other than I recommend you visit Monet's House and Gardens (if you're clever you will order your tickets online before you go) - it's a great one for those with kids, too.


Wishing you all a wonderful week!


Susan said...

Oh Kirsty! You have outdone yourself this time! I have sat here and 'oohed' and 'aahed' over every photo, including 'pinning' a couple to look at every day! The dahlias, the tulips, the roses, the bunny! Congrats to the Mister on his amazing achievement too! What a clever pair you are!

**Anne** said...

We visited the gardens at the end of June and absolutely loved them and the house. There were many more visitors on the day we were there than shown in your photos. Love your photos.
Anne xx

Marg said...

A pity about the chicken, that info might have been useful!
Thank you to you and Schmoopy for your beautiful tour of the gardens, I would love to make it there one day.
Congrats to him on his finish in the bike race, I trust you were there to administer post race massages!
Crepes-yummmmmmm. said...

I will repeat exactly what Susan said. These photos took me away for a few minutes. I can't believe with the many times we have been to France we have never made this stop a priority. Next time for sure!

Jennifer said...

I thought about you this weekend as we watched the Tour! Congrats to your hubby! That's on my hubby's bucket list.

Jennifer :)

Nicola said...

Gorgeous, gorgeous. Seasonal Giverny visits are going on my Paris bucket list this year.
Huge congrats to the mister on completing the Tour. We caught a bit of the pro Tour on TV the other day just as they were finishing the first mountain stage cycling UP past piste maps!!! Sheesh, just watching made me need to have a lie down!

Mark said...

It truly is a fantastic place. We visited in Winter in the early 90s. Sadly, our experience wasn't as beautiful as yours. So, thanks for these photos!

Unknown said...

Congrats to your hubby! What a beautiful place to visit. I can see why Monet was so inspired living in that environment. Thank you for another gorgeous post.

Katy Cameron said...

Congrats to hubby! When we stay over there these days, it's usually on the outskirts of Bedoin, and it's amazing the number of cyclists you see trying to capture the Tour de France spirit and heading up Mont Ventoux - we tend to make bets on whether or not we think they'll make it (a lot don't due to starting in stupidly hot times of the day!)

Thanks for the Giverny tour too, I would love to get there at some point

Betty said...

I know what you did: you let your kids scare all the other visitors away by chasing them off the premisis. Well done, hardly any other tourists in sight.
When we were there the place was flooded with Japanese; at least 2 bus loads!
Your pictures are magnifique!
And so is your husband: CHAPEAU!!

AL said...

How lucky you are to be able to visit these wonderful places....I agree with you...a visit every few months would be essential!

Monica said...

Oh, your pictures of Monet's garden and home are so lovely... they nearly transport me there! I will be sure to visit there if I ever get to go to France. Thank you for giving us all this beautiful little escape. :)

Tina in Boston said...

Ou etes-vous pendant ma vie? LOL. The best I could do for "Where have you been all my life?" I love your blog. I quilt and just took six months of beginning French. Am listenting to France Info at the moment, too. Have not made it to France yet, but so far, Quebec will do for now. Luv Luv Luv your blog and that orange chevron baby quilt! Clever!

Lisa said...

Absolutely beautiful photography! I love tulips in bloom!

Carolyn said...

The gardens are very stunning aren't they. visiting Giverny was one of the highlights of my trip to France last year. Ahh...the tulips!!!

Kirsty @ Bonjour Quilts said...

Bonjour et bienvenue, Tina! Good luck with the français and hopefully you'll make it over here one day to practice.

Kirsty @ Bonjour Quilts said...

Thanks Monica. If you visit, you won't be disappointed!

Hitch and Thread said...

What wonderful photos of a beautiful place. I'm putting it on my to-visit list!

posie blogs Jennie McClelland said...

Easy to see where Monet found inspiration!! Just beautiful.
There is talk to put a cycle lane in the centre of Canberra, you must return here!! That is quite some effort, 10000 cyclists, that is so scary, especially judging the spectator-created-crashes in the professional race!!
Oh that red caravan, not sure if you ever saw a red burger caravan around Canberra, but they've parked it in Kingston & set up a full cafe - if you want to pay $18 for a burger & wait up to 3 hours!! Hmmm . . . love Posie

Kim said...

It looks fabulous, I do love a good garden. Noce to see that the weather is good somewhere in the world, as it certainly isn't here :(

Salley said...

Oh! Great Post Kirsty . . .I assumed Giverny would be a touristy disaster . .did you edit out all the hoards or pick a particularly quiet moment to visit? The photos are magic. Its now on my "must" list. Thankyou!

Sara Louise said...

I want a little red caravan just like that! I'm not sure what I'll sell out of it yet, but I want one.
And way to go Mister for finishing the race! I like to think that some training cycling up to The LPV had a hand in it, so me and the rest of Le Villagers will be taking full credit. Just an fyi. x.

Aidan said...

Congrats Mr!
I love all of the photos, as usual, but my two faves are the red beret lady and the perfect shade of green shutters. I want all accents to be that color.
a xo
oh, i like the new buttons too!

Eva said...

So, so beautiful! Your pictures of the garden are amazing! I love that the garden is colourful and casual. I'd really like to visit there one day!

Lentil soup is one of my favourite foods! :-) My grandmother makes a great one.

Congratulations to the mister! Respect!

Have a good week, already half-way to the weekend! :-)

B said...

Props to the mister - that is seriously impressive!

We are suffering through the sleep deprivation due to watching Le Tour - it starts at 10pm here on good ol' SBS! On y va Cadel!

I went to Giverney last April with my mum and found it utterly charming. As always though, you find beauty in small moments that the average punter (like me!) wouldn't even notice. These photos are just beautiful.

Wendy said...

Hi Kirsty! Recently stumbled across your blog and am absolutely loving it...your pictures of Giverny are just gorgeous, you captured it so beautifully and make me want to visit even more. Thanks for sharing your trip and letting us all do a bit of living vicariously. :)

blandina said...

Giverny through your lenses is just fantastic. You are right, it should be visited every 4 months to see the change of the gardens.
The pictures of the pond are my favourite.

Unknown said...

Beautiful photos! I love it there...

Yes good idea about purchasing tickets online, the queues are cruel!

Melissa said...

I have been a reader for almost two years now. You were one of the first I found went I discovered the blogging world. Your posts and photos always bring a smile to my face. Such beautiful photography and a bit of sewing as a bonus! Thank you so much for sharing.

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