851. Oh sweet and fragrant lily, from still water…quietly, you find your way to sunshine… ~Excerpt from a poem by Jackie D’Elia


As I’ve said in previous posts, I love Claude Monet; I love his gardens at Giverny; and I love his paintings, many of which are of water lilies. So I was thrilled to find a few years back that at our city’s Botanical Garden a water lily pond had been created. “Et voilá” here are some that were in full bloom in that pond today–magnificent beauties rooted in “dust” and anchored in water glowing in the bright Texas sun of a late August day.


Here is a problem, a wonder for all to see.
Look at this marvelous thing I hold in my hand!
This is a magic surprising, a mystery
Strange as a miracle, harder to understand.
What is it? Only a handful of earth: to your touch
A dry rough powder you trample beneath your feet,
Dark and lifeless; but think for a moment, how much
It hides and holds that is beautiful, bitter, or sweet.
Think of the glory of color! The red of the rose,
Green of the myriad leaves and the fields of grass,
Yellow as bright as the sun where the daffodil blows,
Purple where violets nod as the breezes pass.
Think of the manifold form, of the oak and the vine,
Nut, and fruit, and cluster, and ears of corn;
Of the anchored water-lily, a thing divine,
Unfolding its dazzling snow to the kiss of morn.
Who shall compass or fathom God’s thought profound?
We can but praise, for we may not understand;
But there’s no more beautiful riddle the whole world round
Than is hid in this heap of dust I hold in my hand.
~Excerpted lines from Dust, a poem
by Celia Thaxter

Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living thing. ~Genesis 2:7  ✝

824. My garden is my most beautiful masterpiece. I must have flowers, always and always. ~Claude Monet

The finale:
Every day I discover more and more beautiful things.
It’s enough to drive one mad.
I have such a desire to do everything,
my head is bursting with it.
~Claude Monet
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A man, his house, his gardens, his art, his passion, his life, his loves, his sorrows–all are kept alive in a place called Giverny. Claude Monet lived for 43 years in his house at Giverny, and with a passion for gardening as well as for colours, he conceived and created his flower gardens and water gardens which in and of themselves are true works of art visited by 500,000 people each year. And without a doubt as one marvels at the floral compositions and nymphéas, his greatest sources of inspiration, one can still feel the atmosphere which reigned at the home of the Master of Impressionism.
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Monet did not like organized or constrained gardens. Instead he married flowers according to their colours and left them to grow freely, and grow freely they have ever since. But always looking for mists and transparencies, Monet eventually dedicated himself less to the flowers than to reflections in water, which was a kind of inverted world transfigured by the element of liquidity.
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As I said in an earlier post, it was over a 100 degrees fahrenheit the day we visited to Giverny, and since so little time was allotted for the tour we ended up having to find our way back to the bus-hot, tired, and hungry. But the biggest problem as it turned out was there were no signs pointing us to the distant lot where we had gotten off the bus. So we, like other lost souls, wandered for what seemed like forever in the unrelenting heat in a place where NO shade was to be found anywhere. At one point I leaned against a wooden post and told James I was about to fall down on the ground and perish from heat exhaustion. But I did add that it was okay because he could just bury me right there amidst all that beauty and I would die a happy woman.
**My beloved has gone down to his garden, to the beds of spices, to browse in the gardens and gather lilies. ~Song of Songs 6:2  ✝
**My source for the information I included above was several articles I found on the Internet, and I found a few of the photos I used on Pinterest and the Internet.

822. Color is my day-long obsession, joy and torment. ~Claude Monet

  Gardens are a
form of autobiography.
~Sydney Eddison

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I know that if odour were visible, as colour is,
I’d see the summer garden in rainbow clouds.
~Robert Bridges

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When I was in college we used to discuss frequently an old philosophical question about the 5 famous people we’d like to meet and get to know. At that time I’m sure my list was different from what it is today, and back then I was never really sure who would top the list. Though I’m still not sure about who all five would be, I do know for certain who would top the list, Jesus Christ and Claude Monet, and in that order.

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A soulmate is defined in the dictionary as a person ideally suited to another as in a close friend or a romantic partner. Perhaps not in a romantic sense but Jesus is the Lover of my soul and therefore is my eternal and divine soulmate, and I’ve long thought of Claude Monet as a soulmate, someone with whom I would love to have been close friends. Needless to say our trip to Giverny confirmed and solidified Monet’s spot at number 2. Sadly there are hundreds and hundreds of people who visit Giverny each day, and we were prodded along much like cattle being driven down a chute so it was hard to get really nice photos or spend as much time lingering as I would have liked. But I did get some to which I have added to a few more that I found on Pinterest and the internet so as to try and give you all an idea of the exquisite beauty of Monet’s gardens and the charm of his house. If you look carefully at the map in the opening photo, you may be able to get an idea at least of the scope and size of Giverny. There are literally flowers EVERYWHERE, and they are scattered over acres and acres. So here we go on today’s leg of my little photo tour of Giverny. Enjoy.

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. ~Deuteronomy 6:5  ✝

821. I am following Nature without being able to grasp her. ~Claude Monet

I perhaps owe having
become a painter to flowers. ~Claude Monet


For me, a landscape does not exist in its own right,
since its appearance changes at every moment;
but the surrounding atmosphere brings it to life –
the light and the air which vary continually.
For me, it is only the surrounding atmosphere
which gives subjects their true value.
~Claude Monet

My favorite artist has always been Claude Monet who was the founder of French Impressionist painting. And so while we were in Paris, we took a bus tour to Giverny where in 1890 the artist  bought a house and land. Later he added a greenhouse and a second studio. The artist remained the architect of his massive gardens at Giverny even after he hired seven gardeners to whom he wrote daily instructions, precise designs and layouts for the plantings, and invoices for his floral purchases. Then in 1893, he purchased additional land with a water meadow and began a vast landscaping project which included lily ponds and a Japanese bridge, subjects of his best known works. Although, I expected his gardens to be gorgeous, that doesn’t even begin to describe what could well have been a model of the original Garden of Eden or what Heaven might look like. So over the next few days, I want to share with you some of the things I saw that day. Enjoy!

Now the Lord God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed. ~Genesis 2:8  ✝