Enjoying a north east corner of our kitchen deck are my Giverny pots, a happy reminder of an amazing trip to a truly enchanting garden, created and immortalised by a Master. I drank that garden in on a crisp Autumn morning some years ago; for a few short hours we were immersed in another time and enrapt by the sheer brilliance of the creative melding of colour, texture, and fragrance; a gallery of genius.
Little details stay with you. The trailing beds of nasturtiums, rioting throughout, surprising us with their familiar colours and simple joy. Reminders of home when so far away. Winding your way through what seems at times a maze of garden rooms, to emerge at a vantage point revealing the whole. Almost. A glimpse of colour beyond that willow will draw you onwards, a beguiling, cloistered garden with windows into Monet’s soul. Giverny is bathed in impressionist light and to stroll through it on a beautiful morning is to don a French straw hat and a parasol and walk with Monet at your shoulder.
The house is of course sublime, the sitting room has surely the loveliest windows you could wish for. The blue of the kitchen is truly uplifting, enough to raise the spirits of any flagging cook. A lesson in not settling for mundane even if you find the task just that. The citrus squeeze of yellow in the dining room is very close to the butter bush flowers, Senna spp, blooming here at present. So, while I write to you this morning, I am enjoying a splash of Giverny in a pewter mug on the kitchen table inside as well. Why be dull?
Amongst all this sea of beauty and detail, the blue and white Giverny pots shone through. Placed beside steps and doorways painted in Monet’s green, they were dripping in pink fuchsia, tumbling blue and white lobelia, and others with standard bay trees underplanted with the same froth of flowers. Somehow in this garden, the layers of colour and pattern all mix into a mosaic of botanical harmony rather than a jostling tangle of jumble sale rag-tags. Once again, the Master’s eye and hand have tempered the splash with an expert brush stroke.
Last year my large Giverny pot was home to a pale pink camellia, a happy combination until the Hades of February put paid to that maiden’s blush. In the absence of a camellia nursery, I have planted it up for winter with jonquils and lobelia and pansies, the jonquils are another reminder of Monet’s sunny dining room. A splash of colour, fragrance, and pattern detail to be enjoyed from inside and out.
No matter where you visit, there is inspiration to take home with you. The natural beauty of an old coolibah log, a welcome seat on a winter’s picnic. Patterned by time itself, worn to a silver hue and placed just so by nature’s hand. The cool shadowy gloom of a densely planted wood, with tall windows of light glinting through; the satisfying crackle of its leafy carpet under foot. The gurgle and splash of water bubbling in a trough, refreshing and mesmerising to watch. Enjoyed by people and birds alike. The climate, the plants and the budget may be differing, yet if you look beyond all that into the details, nature and of course gardens and art, have much to teach us.
On the blank winter canvas that is the Moble garden, I like to imagine the dab of Monet’s brush in the Giverny pot.
The Moble Gardener