"I am good for nothing except painting and gardening", said the French artist Claude Monet. Having fallen in love with the town of Giverny he decided to live there and create an aquatic garden, where he would paint. And that is what he did for over 30 years. He imported waterlilies from Egypt and South America and planted them in river ponds created by diverting the local river. In all he painted 250 oil paintings of his water lilies creating "the illusion of an endless whole, of water without horizon or bank". In the later paintings he moves closer and closer to the edge of the frame until he had cut out the horizon altogether and focused on water reflecting light. He described it as "a refuge of peaceful mediation in the centre of a flowering aquarium".
At the end of World War 1 and on the day after the Armistice was signed in 1918, Monet donated a set of large panel paintings of his waterlilies to the French State as a monument to peace. He stipulated that the panels be displayed precisely as they are seen today, in twin oval rooms at the Musée de l'Orangerie at Place de la Concorde in Paris, France.
The Garden at Giverny are now visited by over 500,000 people each year.
deBlaca jewellery design is inspired by flowers and nature and includes a collection inspired by Monet's waterlilies and the waterlilies in Ireland's ponds, lakes and rivers.