Garden Diary - May 2012

Thursday, 17 May, 2012
Monet's Garden at the New York Botanical Garden

Site plan for an ambitious water garden. Excavate a large pond, divert the river

and plant water lilies. Renown today, the equation of water lilies, Giverny, Monet.

photo courtesy of Carol Rudy, taken at Giverny, France on 1 May 2012

He loved his garden, and especially the water lilies, making a series of 250 paintings.
The iconic bridge appears in his painting, he appears in photographs standing on it.

There is a sturdy replica of the bridge, and yes it is over water and water lilies, on display as
part of an exhibition in hommage to the artist and gardener at the New York Botanical Garden
which opens this Saturday, 19 May 2012. There is a splendid exhibit in the conservatory, with
additional displays elsewhere on the grounds. This will be a changable affair, with waterlilies
in the courtyard pools gaining center stage in July, and Monet's autumn garden in the fall.

But currently the display is in the conservatory. Step through the facade of Monet's house
and walk into one of his paintings.

Delphiniums, foxgloves, roses, hydrangeas, peonies, tulips,
a sensuous abundance of flowers, colors, fragrances.

Monet is inextricably linked with his waterlilies. He
adored all the flowers in his garden, and they too
became models for his paintings. As an extraordinary
complement to the conservatory exhibition two of his
paintings are on show in the LuEsther T. Mertz Library's Rondina Gallery.

image courtesy of the New York Botanical Garden.

TheArtist's Garden in Giverny oil on canvas, 1900. Filled with light, life, exhuberance
as iris dance along the path. Focus on the captivating flowers and the tree trunks.
On loan from Yale University Art Gallery.

image courtesy of the New York Botanical Garden.

Irises oil on canvas, 1914-17. Now in his 70s, Monet's painting
displays the energy and vibrancy of his passion for both flowers
and painting. Impressionism has continued to draw his work forward.
On loan from a private collection, Switzerland.

There's so much to see and do in conjunction with this exhibition. Begin with the seasonally changing display in the conservatory and the waterlily courtyard. The two paintings in the Rondina Gallery, one of his actual palettes still daubbed with paint, and photographs of Monet and the gardens at Giverny provide a wonderful insight and sense of place. There's a display of photographs of Giverny in the Ross Gallery, both the garden and of flowers, by Elizabeth Murray. Her book, Monet's Passion: Ideas, Inspiration and Insights from the Painter's Garden is available at the Shop-in-the-Garden. A poetry walk through the perennial garden where poems by Monet's contemporaries such as Mallarmé and Rimbaud are displayed among the flowers. There's an app available, you can listen to someone reading the poems. Another app, also available for free download from the Apple app store, lets you take a picture and transform it to look like an Impressionist painting.

The image must be taken on an iPhone or iPad or similar device, and I have a real camera.
Using Faststone Viewer my husband created something similar to what the app would do.

Monet would do it better. But do make a visit to the New York Botanical Garden
and enjoy the exhibition, the gallery shows, the perennial garden, a delicious lunch
at the cafe. It will all make an impression, and perhaps, you might just make one too.

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