Great Botanical Gardens of the World
Claude Monet Foundation at Giverny
Normandy , France
Lay of the Land: If you've taken Art History 101 , set foot in any Impressionist exhibition, or—for that matter—browsed in a greeting card store, you know from Monet's water lilies. But no matter how many times you've seen them, there's no preparing for the living painting that is Giverny—particularly the Nymphéas-filled pond and wisteria-draped Japanese bridge. Created in the 1880's and 90's, and inspired largely by Monet's fascination with Japanese pastoral prints, this two-and-a-half-acre estate is where the artist lived, painted, and gardened until his death in 1926.
Don't Miss: The flower garden. The half of Giverny that's not the Water Garden, this is a different sort of spectacle: a gorgeous chaos of color, anchored by the surprisingly gorgeous resident nasturtiums.
More Info: The Claude Monet Foundation at Giverny.
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