There are two beautiful gardens with public access in Giverny. One is the garden of the French Impressionist artist Claude Monet, which is always packed and entry costs €5.50 per person. The other is the garden of the American Museum of Art, a foundation which aims 'to promote a greater understanding and appreciation of America's rich artistic and cultural heritage for the benefit of a diverse audience', and is free.
It is the American Museum's garden which is situated directly across the street from the carpark in Giverny, and I wonder how many visitors don't do their homework and believe they have visited Monet's garden, without realising that it is a 500m walk further down the street? It nearly fooled me, but I was puzzled by not seeing any of the views I knew from photographs and paintings, so eventually I resorted to reading the directions on the noticeboard.
A nice mixed beech hedge underplanted with stachys. I'm a big fan of mixed hedges à la Hidcote, but in general, the French haven't got the hang of them. In the Loire I frequently encounter garishly combined reddish photinia, bright yellow euonymus and dark green laurel, planted alternately to produce a tricolor hedge. Hmmm...
A lovely pale yellow scabious, beloved of butterflies on a sunny day (which, sadly, this wasn't).
But the self heating bumbles were out, visiting the safflower.
A weeping pear encroaches on some water iris planted in a formal pool.