If you remember I explained that the Japanese gardens can't be seen from Monet's house or from his Clos Normand. Apparently there is a busy road that cuts between the two gardens. The lush landscaping completely blocks the view of it so there is nothing modern to distract the visitor. Immediately upon exiting the walking tunnel that burrows under the road, you will be surrounded by weeping willows, thick greenery and climbing wisteria vines.
There is a beaten pathway that will take you on a meandering walk around the lake. Every step or so the vegetation will open to reveal wonderful vistas of lily pad filled water.
Look closely in the picture above and you will see the famous green bridge that was a feature of so many of his waterlily paintings.
And here is a close up of the bridge with some of my traveling buddies posing for me.
Willow branches hang low as if they want to trail in the water alongside the lily pads.
Not much seems to have changed about the waterlilies since Monet completed his paintings does it?.
This rowboat is a copy of the one Monet's children used to amuse themselves by rowing about the lake.
The following is copied from an account Francois Thiebault-Sisson gave in June of 1927.
"As we strolled he described how he had put the whole thing together. From a completely empty meadow devoid of trees but watered by a twisting, babbling branch of the river Epte he had created a truly fairytale-like garden, digging a large pond in the middle and planting on its hanks exotic trees and weeping willows, whose branches stretched their long arms at the water's edge. Around the pond he had laid out paths arched with trellises of greenery, paths that twisted and inter-crossed to give the illusion of a vast park, and in the pond he had planted literally thousands of water-lilies, rare and choice varieties in every colour of the prism, from violet, red, and orrange to pink, lilac, and mauve. And, finally, across the Epte at the point where it flows out of the pond, he had constructed a little, rustic, hump-backed bridge like the ones depicted in eighteenth-century gouaches and on toile du Jouy. All the money he had made since paying off his property and the costs of the repairs and new buildings he had made to improve it, once he had felt able to let himself go, had gone into this costly fantasy worthy of a wealthy ancien regime landowner. However, as he remarked complacently, the canvases inspired by his "last love" had more than compensated for the money he had laid out."
I hope you have enjoyed going along on this little tour with me. I have certainly enjoyed remembering my trip.