Friday, November 28, 2014

Thursday, November 27, 2014


A few steps away from his home at Giverny, Claude Monet had a chicken yard full of hens, and Fondation Claude Monet still keeps a few chickens in this corner of the garden.
Here is one of the funny Padua chickens, absolutely stylish with their fluffy feathers on the head. HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Monday, November 24, 2014

Friday, November 21, 2014

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Tuesday, November 18, 2014


A pathway through the Clos Normand.

Monday, November 17, 2014


Giverny Monet's garden

We finally made it to Monet's garden in Giverny which was the highlight of this trip for me.
There are two parts in Monet's garden: a flower garden called Clos Normand in front of the house and a Japanese inspired water garden on the other side of the road. The two parts of Monet's garden contrast and complement one another.

The Clos Normand 

When Monet and his family settled in Giverny in 1883 the  piece of land sloping gently down from the house to the road was planted with an orchard and enclosed by high stone walls.

A central alley bordered with pines separated it into two parts. Monet had the pines cut down, keeping only the two yews closest to the house to please Alice.

From this Clos Normand of about one hectare, Monet made a garden full of perspectives, symmetries and colours. The land is divided into flowerbeds where flower clumps of  different heights create volume. Fruit trees or ornamental trees dominate the climbing roses, the long -stemmed hollyhocks and the coloured banks of annuals. Monet mixed the simplest flowers (daisies and poppies) with the most rare varieties. The central alley is covered over by iron arches on which climbing roses grow. Other rose trees cover the balustrade along the house. At the end of the summer nasturtiums invade the soil in the central alley.

Claude Monet did not like organized nor constrained gardens. He married flowers according to their colours and left them to grow rather freely. With the passing years he developed a passion for botany, exchanging plants with his friends Clemenceau and Caillebotte.  Always on the look-out for rare varieties, he bought young plants at great expense. "All my money goes into my garden," he said. But also: "I am in raptures."

This is a picture taken from the second floor of his home overlooking the Clos Normand.

Friday, November 14, 2014


One last flower picture from Auvers-sur-Oise before we move along.

Thursday, November 13, 2014


There was this little circus in Auvers-sur-Oise with this fanciful entrance.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014


We had a wonderful meal at Hostellerie du Nord in Auvers-sur-Oise prepared by Chef Joel Boilleaut. Here is a picture of just one course. Yum!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014


In Flanders fields the poppies grow,
      Between the crosses, row on row,
   That mark our place; and in the sky
   The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
   Loved and were loved, and now we lie
         In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
   The torch; be yours to hold it high.
   If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
         In Flanders fields.

by John McCrae

Here is a red poppy taken in Auvers-sur-Oise in recognition of Remembrance Day/Veterans Day.


Monday, November 10, 2014


Vincent and his brother Theodore are buried side by side in Auvers-sur-Oise's cemetery.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Thursday, November 6, 2014


Vincent Van Gogh painted a lot of Irises and Auvers-sur-Oise had a lot of them in bloom. Here are a couple.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014


We visited the charming village of Auvers-sur-Oise. Vincent Van Gogh lived and painted many of his pictures there. They put up his paintings in front of landmarks that he painted. Here is the Church of Auvers-sur-Oise.

Monday, November 3, 2014