I love this garden for its association with Monet, and because you can see it in his paintings. The only time of day to visit is first thing in the morning. Be in line before it opens. By 10am it is filling up with hordes of foreign tourists following their leaders with signs and umbrellas held high. Don't miss the house, there are some very nice Japanese prints there, which were well loved by the Impressionists.
I want to love this but ... the crowds, the barricades, the crowds..
I went in late spring leading a garden tour - possibly the peak time (and thus ironically contributing to the crowding). There was plenty to see but little of the perennials and infill plants looked like they grew there naturally. I understand there is an army of gardeners growing on substitutes in a back nursery, ready to fill the gaps. And it shows. Holes are plugged with potted colour meaning that the overall effect is lost and the cohesion stemming from the interweaving of plants is lost.
There are obviously issues with security but one of the biggest disappointments is the heavy, ugly green gate onto the road that obscures the view, as originally intended, of the lake. You should be able to stand on the verandah of the house and look down the main axis to the land on the other side of the road but not now.
It is a charming garden and possibly more so later in the season when the nasturtiums drift over the paths but it looks to be suffering from its popularity. Do five-year olds really need to visit in their thousands? I wonder. What would they get from it.
I do concur with the comments above about the garden of the Museum of American Art. The level of maintenance here left the main Fondation gardens for dead. It is really excellent - and a good place for lunch after the hurly burly of the main event.
I visited in October 2005 - late in the season; perhaps if it had been earlier I would have given the garden 5 Stars. It was such a special treat to see the Gardens of Monet. I liked the informal style after visiting so many formal gardens in Paris. I was traveling with a friend, and were celebrating her 60th birthday that day - made it back to the bus just as it began to rain buckets. Would most certainly visit again if I had the chance.
A lovely garden, especially when the crowds have died down !
The plantings are lovely in the way plants are mixed toigether which gives a softer look and less blocked as is current practise.
A romantic place !
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