YESTERDAY I TICKED OFF an item that has long been on my bucket list: Monet’s heavenly garden at Giverny, in the countryside 50 miles from Paris. It was a day of more oohs and aahs than actual verbalization, so overwhelmed was I as my cousin Susan and I traipsed around Monet’s 2-1/2 acres of flowers, including his famous water lily pond.
It’s the season of roses and poppies, but many other things as well — lupines and ladies mantle, foxgloves and verbena, in beds separated by gravel paths, tumbling over each other in profusion.
The garden is kept as Monet had it, and the utterly charming house (where photos are not permitted) as well. There, the rooms are mostly blue or yellow, with wooden furniture casually painted to match the walls. There’s blue and green pottery, mismatched Oriental rugs on tile floors, and lots of rattan and bamboo. I could move right in.
Word to the wise: go anytime other than a Sunday in June. We faced crowds on the train from Gare St. Lazare in Paris to Vernon, 4km from Giverny; then on the bus from the station to Monet’s house and garden; stood on line for nearly an hour to enter; and had to thread our way among other people taking pictures during the course of our visit.
Still, I would not have missed it for the world.