While I was in France in May, I visited Monet’s gardens in Giverny. Before I went I was hoping to see some early spring flowers and then use my imagination as to what the gardens might look like in full bloom. To my surprise and delight, there were flowers in bloom everywhere! I literally felt like a fashion photographer, one that continuously snaps photos in pursuit of the perfect shot. But in my case, I have to say it would have been difficult to take a bad picture of such a beautiful scene.
Although there were people everywhere, you could step off the main trail onto a secluded path and feel as though you had the garden to yourself. I was amazed by the size of the iris, the peonies and the roses. And of course the air was delicately scented with all these lovely flowers. Everywhere you looked, there were flowers. And each new view was just as beautiful as the last.
After taking continuous shots of every possible angle of (seemingly) every flower there, I made myself put my camera away and just experience the garden. When I went into the farmhouse, it was easy to imagine Monet himself flinging open the windows onto the garden, as he might have calculated the position of the sun and from which vantage point to begin a new painting.
The pond and water lilies was another interesting sight, particularly since Monet’s paintings of water lilies are my favorites. After I (somewhat successfully) kept my camera tucked away, it was easy to simply wander through the gardens and admire how many flowers were in bloom. The lavender also managed to add a distinctive fragrance.
I don’t even remember talking at all while I was at Giverny. It wasn’t necessary. It’s something that you just experience, and then remember later.