A week in Paris, with two side trips into Normandy, hardly constitutes a comprehensive look at the gardens of France. But with four beautiful days, two cloudy days and only one rainy day, enough time to snap a few highlights.
Certainly, Claude Monet’s water garden in the village of Giverny, in Normandy, offered all the Kodak moments you could want. The hardest part was tearing yourself away before the bus left for the return trip. The water lilies were starting to bloom well, the roses were in retreat, but other bright stars of the garden were shining.
Farther west, near the western coast, the abbey of Mont St. Michel looms dreamlike as you approach it. Until a few decades ago you could reach it, or leave it, only during low tides, but siltation and newer amenities for the ever-increasing tourist trade have turned the historical attraction into something of a Disney venue. A few floral photos are possible, though, and the view of the moist sands of the bay is interesting.
Back in Paris, the gardens of the Palais Royal, on the right bank just a short walk from the Louvre, offers elegant plantings. Some were being replaced as we arrived. Same thing at the Jardin de Luxembourg on the left bank.
Anyone been to Paris later in the summer, or in the fall? I’d love to compare photos.