Thursday, May 24, 2012

"Monet's Garden" in the Bronx

A reproduction of the green bridge that arches over the lily pond at Giverny
A recreation of the Grand Allee
Monet's wooden palette
The New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx opened "Monet’s Garden" last week. It is a living abbreviated recreation of the two major gardens that Monet created, one in traditional, orderly French style, the other a Japanese-inspired fantasia of water, blooming lily pads and weeping willowsThe garden show is organized by Paul Hayes Tucker, a Monet scholar. In addition to the beautiful garden, the show also features two rare garden-inspired Monet paintings, as well as Monet's wooden palette on display at the library. The garden show features an indoor approximation of the Grand Allée at Giverny, a straight walkway with flowers blossoming on either side. Overhead, on green metal arches, roses are beginning to climb, on course to flower in full in the coming months. More than 150 varieties of annuals and perennials are represented here, all known to have been planted by Monet himself, who kept detailed accounts of his horticultural activities. The Grand Allée leads to a green gate swung open between square, neo-Classical-style columns framing the view of a reproduction of the famous green bridge that arches over the lily pond at Giverny. Here historical accuracy gives way a bit to present circumstances. The bridge is oriented perpendicularly to the Grand Allée sightline, rather than in line with it, as it is at Giverny, and the pond is smaller than a putting green. Like the real one, it is surrounded by weeping willows, wisteria and clusters of bamboo, but nothing floats on its surface: Waterlilies do not do well indoors. They will be abundantly displayed, however, outdoors in the Conservatory Courtyard’s Hardy Pool, a rectangular, basketball-court size body bordered by paving stones. Only some of the about 50 varieties — many directly descended from Monet’s — are beginning to bloom now, but as time goes by, they should produce a symphony of color all together. (from the New York Times)

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