Friday, October 1, 2010

Monet's Passion - 20th Anniversary Edition - A book review and giveaway








Garden writer, photographer and designer Elizabeth Murray spent ten weeks in the fall of 1984 touring great gardens in ten European countries. It was Monet's celebrated garden in Giverny that left a lasting impression - an experience so strong that she gave up her full-time job in California, took a crash course in French and moved to France where she volunteered to work at Giverny in exchange for an apartment overlooking the garden. The next nine months, Murray worked with the head gardener and seven male gardeners, in this garden paradise.

Murray returns to Giverny on a yearly basis and continues to be captivated and enchanted by Monet's spirit and the beauty of the gardens. In 1990, she published "Monet's Passion" and this year the book has been re-issued and updated with new photographs and additional material.




This is a beautiful book, attractively designed and filled with lush photographs by the author, line drawings, maps and tips for creating your own Monet-inspired garden. 


The introductory chapter covers the history of Giverny, from the time Monet first purchased the property at the age of 43 until his death there at the age of 86 in 1926. He carefully planned the garden's design using a central axis extending from the front door leading to the famous Water Garden, located across the road from the main residence. The profusion of flowers and color, masterfully selected with an artist's eye, is the trademark of the garden and leaves visitor's in awe. Murray, an artist herself, understands this, and describes the effects that Monet strived for and achieved.








I've never been to Giverny but I've always thought of it as a Spring garden. But, as Murray's photos attest, the garden is remarkable in all seasons, and the autumn garden is wonderfully robust with color and majesty.

Design plans are included which show the reader how to achieve "the blooming house", balcony gardening, paint box plantings. Each design features a line drawing and transparent onion-skin type pages that you can overlay to see the effects.

An abundance of plants grow at Giverney, some of the signature flora being roses, iris, clematis, dahlia, poppies, sunflowers and peonies. These plants, and more, are profiled in an encyclopedic section. Other sections include a chronology, Monet's color palette and listings of plants used by Monet.

Win A Copy! - Pomegranate publishers is offering a free copy of this beautiful book to one lucky winner. To enter, just leave a comment to this blog post along with an e-mail address where I can contact you if you are the winner. I will be in California next week so I'm making this a two-week contest. Entries will be accepted until Friday, Oct. 15th, at 9 pm CST.

{{{{{ An Internet Random Number Generator chose "10" which means that Diana (Di) is the winner! Congratulations Di and thanks to everyone who entered. }}}}}


Text and photos by Phillip Oliver, Dirt Therapy

43 comments:

  1. Ooh, pretty! Count me in :D

    dracorules 22 at yahoo dot com

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  2. I'd love to win! queenofhearts1950@yahoo.com

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  3. How beautiful - count me in as well. ginny.tarleton@gmail.com

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  4. I'm in - wrightlj@nc.rr.com

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  5. Hiya Phillip

    Count me in!

    rob@lebanquet.com

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  6. The next best thing to being there in person! Would so enjoy this beautiful book/photography. Please count me in also, Phillip.

    (loonfeather@comcast.net)

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  7. Sounds like a must-have book for any gardener who loves colour and has a passion for gardening. It would be a dream-come-true to be able to visit this exquisite garden ... something I've always wanted to do.

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  8. Phillip, what a wonderful gift. The photos and especially the first and second ones are simply lovely. tradylady at gmail dot com

    PS: will you be near OR?

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  9. I love Monet. And these gardens are gorgeous. I hate to put my email anywhere public. I'll check in to see who won.

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  10. We were privileged to be able to see some of his water lily paintings in NYC this summer - they were stunning. Please count me in the contest.

    morehiways at cox . net

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  11. ooh i hope i win .. jenjahnke at yahoo.com

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  12. I have a copy of this book from 1989. I am glad you brought it to my attention. I will have fun perusing this again. You don't have to put my name in. Thank you for the opportunity.

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  13. Enter me! That book would be a feast for the eyes.
    scooterjen@tds.net

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  14. Just found you via blotanical. Enjoyed this post. Pics are great! Please include me in your draw

    bom at plantchaser . com

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  15. That is a beautiful book! Would love to win! Judy Lane

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  16. The gardens are so beautiful!!
    Count me in!
    debbie@mobil1.net

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  17. So now I have to add Giverny Gardens to my bucket list, along with Victoria Gardens in BC! I'd love to win that book.
    msrobin58@insight.rr.com

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  18. Phillip, I have the gorgeous book so please don't enter me in the giveaway, but I just wanted to write and say I love this book, and your review is spot on.

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  19. If I don't win this book I WILL buy it. Garden porn, yum.

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  20. Oops, forgot the e-mail address: ccwinslow at mindspring dot com.

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  21. The opening photograph shows at once what inspired Monet! I would definitely "work at Giverny in exchange for an apartment overlooking the garden". I would enjoy this book very much.

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  22. I visited Monet's garden eight years ago, and it was the highlight of my trip to Paris. What beautiful book. gaylegreen@hotmail.com

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  23. Count me in! Love Giverny!

    thanks!

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  24. These pictures are breath taken!!! What a garden needs is someone in it that not only loves to garden but also loves to share it with others..... I would love to win this book :-) Pleaseeeee...

    gturner4762@att.com

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  25. I was there in 1997 and remember that garden as it was yesterday. tulapa at nm dot ru
    Thank you Phillip!

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  26. Absolutely gorgeous. I would love this book! carinthia72 at gmail.com

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  27. Love anything on Monet's garden! kelseycox@yahoo.com

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  28. Have the first book, would love the updated one.
    xs

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  29. Ohhhh pretty! Count me in! crazyboutflwoers@gmail.com -- Randy

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  30. Put me down for a chance to win ... I read this blog ritually -love it!

    Justin Robinson
    mr.justin.robinson@gmail.com

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  31. Absolutely. Gorgeous images and I like the premise of the book and her being an artist herself. dlbdesign@roadrunner.com

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  32. Oh my - I just found your blog.
    The images are beautiful. I would love to own this book.
    enlawsontn@aol.com

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  33. What beautiful colors! Wouldn't I love something like that for my garden!

    wf_dixon(at)yahoo.com

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  34. Beautiful! Stunning! Inspirational! Count me in too!
    weeder@rcip.com

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  35. This is one garden I want to visit before I die. I've always been enraptured by the photos, and I wonder if it really is that good. Count me in on the drawing. delliott@charter.net

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  36. My birthday is Oct 15th so the book about my favorite artist's garden would just be wonderful. You have a fantastic blog.
    Carra Harris

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  37. I love the original book...such a treasure!

    scottweberpdx@gmail.com

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  38. Wow - what a wonderful book! If I ever go to France again, I'd love to visit Giverny. I would be happy to win this book!

    lisablair7(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  39. Oh, I missed this post. I cannot imagine in Monet's day that the gardens would look so tidy... he loved having the flowers grow out into the paths. Lovely Post and review Phillip. ;>)

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