Paris Chelsea Tour 2013
Trip Recap May 15th – May 24th, 2013

May 17 th Day of Leisure
Everyone had things to do today…a day of discovery!

May 18th

After seeing the water lilies at the Musee de L'Orangerie we were ready to see Fondation Claude Monet, his home and gardens. We drove into the beautiful countryside and reached our destination in plenty of time to see not only the gardens but his house too. A visit to the Studio which is now a huge giftshop for that special memento is a must before strolling through the village of Giverny, a wonderful walk with lots of shops and gardens along the way to the Hotel Baudy where we met for lunch. A walk down to the end of the street to see where Monet is buried, passing by the Musee des impressionnismes Giverny and its wonderful pocket gardens. Then we make our way back to Paris.

I don’t know how many times you have seen Giverny but I can never get enough of this magical village, its history and of course the most wonderful, soul inspiring garden of Claude Monet.

‘If, I can someday see M. Claude Monet's garden, I feel sure that I shall see something that is not so much a garden of flowers as of colours and tones, less an old-fashioned flower garden than a colour garden, so to speak, one that achieves an effect not entirely nature's, because it was planted so that only the flowers with matching colours will bloom at the same time, harmonized in an infinite stretch of blue or pink."

The house, with its pink roughcast façade, where the leader of the Impressionist School lived from 1883 to 1926, once again has the colourful decor and intimate charm of former times. The precious collection of Japanese engravings is displayed in several rooms, as the master of Giverny himself had chosen to. The huge Nympheas studio, a stone's throw from the house, has also been restored. It houses the Foundation's Shop. The gardens have been replanted as they once were and offer for the admiration of visitors the "painting from nature" which Claude Monet's contemporaries considered one of his masterpieces. The rectangular Clos Normand, with archways of climbing plants
entwined around brilliantly coloured shrubs, lies varying colours of the painter-gardener who was "ecstatic about flowers".

Lastly, the Water Garden, formed by a tributary of the Epte, lies further away, shaded by weeping willows. With its famous Japanese Bridge, its wisterias, azaleas and its pond, it has once more become that setting of sky and water which inspired the pictorial universe of the water lilies.

Our lunch was at Hotel Baudy….the history continues. The former Hotel Baudy housed the first painters - mainly Americans - who came to work in Giverny. The garden presents a collection of ancient perfumed rose bushes planted in the shade of trees along the slope of the hill. The hotel has kept the decoration of the dining room where the residents used to meet, and also the studio where they liked to work. When Claude Monet came to Giverny, the hotel Baudy didn't exist as such. The small "epicerie - buvette" owned by Angelina and Gaston Baudy offered nothing but a simple meal. There were no rooms available to welcome travelers - in any case, who would want to sleep in this little village? In the spring of 1886, all this changed. The American painter William Metcalf arrived at Vernon station and came to Giverny by way of a little train that, at the time, passed through all the villages from Vernon to Gisors. The Norman countryside offered the young artist a magnificent spectacle of blossoming apple orchards and rolling hills. Metcalf regretted that he had left his paints behind....

Once back in Paris we then visited the Jardin du plantes, the main botanical garden of Paris. Founded in 1626, Jardin des Plantes was first established as a royal garden of medicinal plants and wasn't open to the general public until 1650. It was designed and planted by Guy de La Brosse, the physician of Louis XIII.

Covering about 28 hectares, and located on the Left Bank of the River Seine, the Jardin itself boasts tropical hothouses that are home to a variety of unusual plants, native mostly to Mexico and Australia. There's also an Alpine garden, a magnificent rose garden, and an Art Deco-style winter garden which in itself is a stunning glasshouse. They maintain a botanical school, create demonstration gardens and even exchange seeds with other botanical gardens. You will also see here some very old and majestic trees.

NOTE – I used a very professional and great step on guide this day from Discover Walks. Alexandre is one of the owners and very helpful to all of us … if you need the services of a guide while in Paris 



  • New Eden
  • Kids Garden
  • Plant a Row Grow a Row