Monet's gardens at Giverny outside Paris make a spectacular impression on tourists

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Claude Monet's gardens are both intimately recognizable and overwhelming in their spectacle.

The French Impressionist master lived half his life, from 1883 until his death at age 86 in 1926, in Giverny, France.

The gardens inspired Monet's largest and most famous paintings. They are now a popular tourist attraction, located near a quiet bend in the Sienna River. It is an easy one-hour drive northwest of Paris. (See the video at the top of this article.)

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Giverny is much visited by tourist groups from the city and is a popular stop for cruise ships on the Seine.

The spectacular gardens of Giverny proved to be a great source of inspiration for the artist. Monet's arrival in Giverny coincided with an increase in his financial and artistic fortunes.

One of the famous bridges seen in Claude Monet's paintings is now a popular photo spot for visitors to his gardens at Giverny. (Kerry J. Byrne/Fox News Digital)

“Claude Monet's gardens at Giverny are like his paintings: brightly colored spaces that are messy but balanced,” reports RickSteves.com.

“Flowers were his brushstrokes, a little untamed and messy, but part of a carefully composed design. Monet spent his last (and most creative) years cultivating his garden and his art at Giverny, the Camp David of Impressionism.”

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The gardens amaze visitors with splashes of colour from April to October. The landscape is highlighted by the bridges and water lilies that feature in hundreds of Monet's paintings that are known all over the world.

Here are some highlights of the early summer blooms in Monet's gardens at Giverny.

Candle larkspur

Monet's gardens at Giverny

Flowering larkspur in Monet's gardens in Giverny, France, June 27, 2024. (Kerry J. Byrne/Fox News Digital)

The plant gets its name from the flowers that resemble the claws or beaks of a lark.

“Because larkspur typically blooms in the warm summer months, this flower often symbolizes lightheartedness, sheer fun and the urge to be humorous,” states the website of Nanz & Kraft Florists in Louisville, Kentucky.

“The larkspur is a symbol of an open heart, sincerity, strong bonds of love and devotion.”

Bells of Canterbury

Monet's gardens at Giverny

The Canterbury Bells in Monet's Gardens in Giverny, France, June 27, 2024. (Kerry J, Byrne/Fox News Digital)

This beautiful and striking flower is an eye-catcher in any garden and has long played a central role in decorative garden architecture.

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“The plant has been used in European and English gardens since the 16th century and in American gardens since the 18th century,” states the website of Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia.

“The most common flowers are usually deep purple, but can also be white, red, or pink.”

Feverfew (with sunfly)

Insect on flower in Monet's gardens

A bee searches for nectar in the flower of feverfew, a type of chrysanthemum, found in Monet's gardens in Giverny, France. (Kerry J. Byrne/Fox News Digital)

Feverfew, a small daisy, has long played a role in folk medicine, first in Europe and later, after it was imported to North America and other parts of the world.

“Two common reasons people take feverfew are to prevent migraines or to reduce arthritis symptoms,” WebMD reports.

Painted tongue

Monet's gardens at Giverny

Trumpet flower, also known as velvety trumpet flower, in Monet's gardens in Giverny, France, June 27, 2024. (Kerry J. Byrne/Fox News Digital)

One of the most beautiful flowers in Giverny, or in any garden for that matter, is known by several names: paint tongue, tube tongue and velvet trumpet flower, among others.

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Whatever this flower's name, it offers “a kaleidoscope of colors and glossy, spectacular details,” reports NorthAmericanFarmer.com.

“This plant produces flowers with striking pigment shades and vibrant veins.”

Safflower

Monet's gardens at Giverny

Safflower in bloom in Monet's gardens in Giverny, France, June 27, 2024. (Kerry J. Byrne/Fox News Digital)

These striking thistle-like flowers have an important history in human evolution that goes far beyond their striking beauty.

“Safflower is one of the oldest known cultivated crops,” according to the website of Kew Royal Botanic Gardens in London.

“It has been a valuable resource for thousands of years; first as a clothing and food dye, then as a cheap alternative to saffron, and now as a cooking oil and essential ingredient in skin and hair care products.”

Virginia spiderwort

Monet's gardens at Giverny

Virginia spiderwort in bloom on June 27, 2024 in the gardens of Claude Monet in Giverny, France. (Kerry J. Byrne/Fox News Digital)

Imported from North America, this strikingly vibrant flower briefly shines in Monet's studio in early summer. Even in its natural habitat, it is a rare find.

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“The flowers open only in the morning,” wildflower.org reports. “The petals then wither and turn into a jelly-like fluid. Spiderwort flowers close around noon and last only one day.”

Water lilies

Monet's gardens at Giverny

Water lilies in the pond in Monet's gardens in Giverny, France, on June 27, 2024. (Kerry J. Byrne/Fox News Digital)

Water lilies are often referred to by their botanical name “nymphaea” in Monet's paintings and are the most recognizable flowers in Giverny.

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They form the centrepiece of a series of 250 paintings by Monet, many of which are among the world's most famous works of art.

“I am good for nothing except painting and gardening. My greatest masterpiece is my garden.”

“Monet grew white water lilies in the water garden he had created in 1893 on his estate in Giverny,” reports the website of the Musée d'Orsay in Paris.

Monet's gardens triple split

Claude Monet's gardens in Giverny, France, are a popular tourist attraction about an hour's drive from Paris. Visitors will recognize the garden's signature water lilies and bridges, both of which often appear in the artist's paintings. (Kerry J. Byrne/Fox News Digital)

“From the 1910s until his death in 1926, the garden and especially the pond were the artist's sole source of inspiration.”

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Monet himself said: “I have returned to things that are impossible to do: water with weeds waving in the depths. Except for painting and gardening, I am good for nothing. My greatest masterpiece is my garden.”

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