Now I know that I sound rather greedy saying “another visit”, when many people never get to see it. Let me explain – this garden is like no other and you could not visit it too many times. I have now been five times, twice in the spring and then in the summer and autumn and it is quite simply a treasure which has an effect on me every time I go.
The first time Bill and I visited it was for my birthday in my fiftieth year, and we took my sweet little convertible Mazda MX5 across to France via the Channel Tunnel and drove on to Giverny, not far from Paris. When we arrived at the garden, I could see Bill’s reaction to the 30 coaches and the overflow carpark and wondered just how much trouble I was going to be in!
We entered through the heaving gift shop and suddenly we were out in the garden and we could not see the crowds at all. The flower beds are arranged in such a way that there are dozens of full flower beds with no visitors visible. It is very cleverly organised and yet you do not feel like an interloper at all.
My last visit was when Bill and I took our esteemed Cross Stitch Guild Editor, Jenny Dixon, on an outing to visit this famous garden and it was definitely dahlia season. At the time I was feeling slightly embarrassed by my own garden here at Pinks Barn, which as you can see from the picture was very blousy, wild and woolly but very colourful.
After our visit to Giverney I was completely at home amongst my flowers even if some of them were taller than me. If there is one place I feel you need to go, certainly if you love gardens, it is Claude Monet’s home.