Claude Monet’s garden in Giverny

Giverny Claude Monet garden 13 house

As I told you a few weeks ago, I made a day trip to the charming village of Giverny over Bastille Day weekend. I was looking forward to visiting Claude Monet’s estate again as it impressed me by its beauty and peacefulness on my first visit a few years ago (blog post). I thought the garden in the summer would be even lusher with a different character.

Comme je vous l’ai raconté il y a quelques semaines, j’ai profité du weekend du 14 juillet pour faire une escapade à Giverny. Le domaine de Claude Monet m’avait déjà éblouie par sa beauté et sa quiétude il y a quelques années (article). Je me disais que le jardin devait être encore plus resplendissant en été.

Giverny Claude Monet garden 1

Followers on Instagram asked me if it was possible to get to Giverny by public transportation. It was surprisingly easy. All you have to do is take the train from Saint-Lazare in Paris to Vernon in Normandy. Then, a bus will take you directly to the Claude Monet Foundation. The whole trip only took an hour.

Certains followers sur Instagram m’ont demandé si on pouvait se rendre à Giverny en transports. C’est ce que j’ai fait et ça a été très simple : il suffit de prendre le train de la gare Saint-Lazare jusqu’à Vernon, puis de là une navette en car qui vous mènera jusqu’à la Fondation Claude Monet. Cela ne prend qu’une heure et le dépaysement est garanti !

Giverny Claude Monet garden 2 alley

Don’t let my pictures fool you: I did not have the whole garden all to myself. I thought I would safely avoid the biggest crowds by getting there very early on a Monday morning. How wrong I was. If you can, I highly recommend you go in September: the weather is still nice and Giverny is much more peaceful.

Mes photos montrant un jardin désert sont trompeuses. Moi qui espérait une visite tranquille un lundi matin à la première heure, j’ai vite déchanté en voyant les groupes de touristes. Cette affluence a été assez pénible pour visiter la maison, alors si vous le pouvez je vous recommande d’éviter le voyage en été. Ma visite en septembre il y a quelques années ne s’était pas du tout déroulée dans ces conditions.

Giverny Claude Monet garden 4

Another reason to visit Giverny in September: nasturtiums cover the central alley as if nature had taken over the estate. Whatever the season though, the garden is always a wonder. It is a beautiful organized mess with an incredible multitude of plants and colors.

Une autre raison de se rendre à Giverny en septembre : les capucines recouvrent alors l’allée centrale. Cependant, quelle que soit la saison, le jardin est toujours aussi stupéfiant dans son abondance et sa sauvagerie organisée, avec sa multitude incroyable de plantes et de teintes.

Giverny Claude Monet garden 5

Do not miss the small streets at the back of the estate, if only for the delightful little houses. The Musée des Impressionnismes holds interesting exhibitions every year, with paintings lent from the greatest museums. And for lunch, I highly recommend you head to l’Hôtel Baudy. It is a place full of history as artists like Cézanne, Renoir and Rodin would spend time there. The dining is very good and there is a lovely rose garden where you can stroll afterwards.

Les rues derrière le domaine valent aussi le détour, ne serait-ce que pour les petites maisons pittoresques. Le Musée des Impressionnismes organise chaque année de belles expositions. Et pour déjeuner dans un beau cadre chargé d’histoire, je vous recommande l’Hôtel Baudy. C’est là que se rendaient des artistes comme Cézanne, Renoir et Rodin autrefois ; on y mange très bien et on peut se promener dans le jardin de roses après.

Giverny Claude Monet garden 6

Giverny Claude Monet garden 7

Giverny Claude Monet garden 8

Giverny Claude Monet garden 9 alley

Giverny Claude Monet garden 9

Giverny Claude Monet garden 10

Giverny Claude Monet garden 11 house inside

Giverny Claude Monet garden 12

Giverny Claude Monet garden 14

Giverny Claude Monet garden 15 water lily

Giverny Claude Monet garden 16 water lily

Giverny Claude Monet garden 17 water lily

Giverny Claude Monet garden 18 water lily

Giverny Claude Monet garden 19 water lily

Giverny Claude Monet garden 20 water lily

Where is spring in Paris?

Ladurée strawberries

Where is spring in Paris? I am asking this as cold rain is pouring on the first day of May. The weather of the past few days makes you hesitant to shed your winter coat. It even snowed in France last week. So how can we make sure spring is present in our everyday lives as it ought to be by now?

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Spring for me reveals itself first and foremost in nature, with flowers blooming and birds happily chirping about. Which is why I fled to the flower market on the Ile de la Cité a few weeks ago when the weather was really dreary. Located a minute away from Notre-Dame-de-Paris, the lush alleys bordered by all sorts of plants and flowers will make you forget that you are in the middle of a bustling city. On Sundays, the experience is even stronger as the market welcomes birds that sing their heart out.

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To be honest, I first realized it was supposed to be spring in Paris when I noticed this box in a Ladurée window a couple of months ago.

Ladurée box

The gourmet stores have managed to bring us welcomed touches of sunshine: desserts made with spring fruits and decorated with flowers can only cheer you up.

Ladurée framboise fraises

Pierre Hermé

Fauchon

Fauchon éclair

To create a warm atmosphere in my apartment, I favor an old trick of the trade: candles with floral or green fragrances such as Diptyque’s spring selection or Cire Trudon’s Prolétaire. There is nothing more heart-warming though than sniffing a spring-like scent that you love on your wrist. For me, that would be my old favorite Chanel N°19 with notes of iris, moss and white flowers. I also splurged on Guerlain’s L’Heure de Nuit: when I tried this new perfume with bergamot, orange blossom, iris, jasmine, rose, and musk, I had to have it.

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And what should we wear? I’m not sure I’d recommend the light summer clothes sold in stores for nowadays, as I would not want you to catch pneumonia. I find it easier to play on accessories: a silk Hermès scarf tied around a sparkly Vanessa Bruno bag can easily cheer up any look. The same goes for pastel and bright nail polish: French natural brand Kure Bazaar has great new colors for this season.

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Kure Bazaar vernis bleu

And lastly, because art is the solution to many things, I love to get lost in the paintings of Impressionists to believe that I am actually walking in Giverny. These pictures of Monet’s water lilies were taken at Musée Marmottan, but I’d suggest you’d rather go to the breathtaking Musée de l’Orangerie to admire them.

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Musée Marmottan Claude Monet 2 tableaux

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Has spring really set in where you live? What are your favorite things about this season?