Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Monet's Passion

Every gardener knows about Monet’s magnificent gardens at Giverny which inspired so many of his paintings, but very few gardeners have the opportunity to visit those gardens and experience them in person. Lucky for us, Elizabeth Murray who is a gardener and photographer, has written a book about Giverny that is lavishly illustrated with her own incomparable photographs.

She spent a year as a gardener at Giverny and then returned, year after year, at different seasons to photograph the splendid landscape. The book is printed on heavy paper like a fine art book, but its text makes is a practical gardening book also.

We are treated to the story of Monet’s acquisition of the property and development of the gardens. Ms. Murray provides the information that is so important to her gardener readers of how the gardens evolved, which plants he used, where he obtained them and why he chose them. The book includes detailed diagrams of the gardens, which with the accompanying photographs, allows us to clearly visualize Monet’s designs.

Just as important, she includes information on how we can incorporate Monet’s designs into our own landscapes. Whether it is a small pond filled with his favorite water plants or “paint box” beds using the same flowers or vegetables used at Giverny, Ms. Murray offers designs and plant lists for each type of garden or container.

I may never make it to France, but thanks to Ms. Murray’s stunning photographs, I will be able to visit Monet’s garden at Giverny every time I open this book. I just have to decide how to shelve it: with my photography books or garden books.

Review copy courtesy of Pomegranate Communications, Inc.


Sheila said...

Thank you for introducing this lovely book. I have had the opportunity to visit Giverny and look forward to revisiting through this book. I am putting it on my Christmas list!

OldRoses said...

I hope Santa leaves a copy under your Christmas tree.

Naturegirl said...

Certainly a book that I must read as I have been to the Giverny and walked through Monet's sacred garden!