It wasn't until much later when I realised the gift shop with the harried staff and the obnoxious tourist was actually the gallery where Monet painted the water lily series. I wish I had been able to stand and absorb that reality. But I will go back and I will do exactly that.
When we returned home I began to work over the front garden. Dominated by some big trees the garden was just a lawn, partly failing under heavy shade.
I chose a colour scheme of blue and yellow as Monet did. I didn't have any experience starting from scratch in a garden. I knew I needed a little structure, a layering of heights. But I didn't really know which plants to put in. So I just did my best.
Lavender was an obvious choice. I discovered bue Marguerites which have done very well. Daffodils for yellow in spring. Barely two years on the bones are working.
Over the winter grass encroached on the bed I built along the inside of the fence. Most of the pansies have died off. Yesterday I headed out to weed thinking it would be a really onerous task.
Surprisingly the weeds and grass all pulled out easily. The lavender and Marguerites have established well. The daffodils are blooming and the ranunculas are popping up. Next week I will replace the annual flowers in time for the start of spring.
For now here are some before and after pictures as I weeded and mulched. Today Howard pulled out a dead pine which had been lovely but closed off one corner of the garden. It died back and didn't recover or we would have left it. We also pruned some other plants which were blocking the path so the lawn follows a lovely 'C' shape, winding through the garden.