Woman’s Club welcomes Celia Knapp for presentation on Monet’s Gardens

Celia Knapp

Master gardener and art educator Celia Knapp presented a slide show and talk on Claude Monet, his gardens, his art, and his life at the most recent meeting of the Woman’s Club of Warren on February 4.

Ms. Knapp became interested in Monet when she was a beginning gardener and was fascinated with his genius. She has visited his gardens in Giverny, France, several times.

Monet described himself as “a gardener who happened to paint,” and his gardens reflect his eye for color and composition. He “strolled” through his five-acre gardens three times a day, 365 days a year, and employed six to eight gardeners to maintain them, as well as doing much work in them himself.

Monet’s estate is comprised of four parts: his house, originally a cider mill, which became a work of art in itself; his studios, of which he ultimately built three; his gardens of fruit trees, perennials, and annuals; and his famous water garden, with a pond and Japanese bridge.

Twice married, Monet had two sons and his second wife had six children. After being damaged in World War I, his house and gardens eventually deteriorated, with only one of his stepdaughters left to care for them. In 1970, the American publisher of the Reader’s Digest donated $2 million to restore the estate. Today the house and gardens appear much the same as they were in Monet’s lifetime. The gardens are a major botanical center to this day.

At the luncheon following the presentation, the table was decorated with Asian artifacts. Club president Carolyn Worley thanked Knapp for her interesting talk and recognized the day’s hostesses, Ruth Derby, and Marilyn Mourer.

Woman’s Club vice president Ruth Barnes-Shaw introduced “Step Into Spring,” a new artisan/vendor event to be held March 16 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Twenty-some vendors are already scheduled to offer goods from hand-blown glass to home decor to candies.

The Easter Bunny will be on hand for free photos with children. A basket of chocolates will be raffled off. There will be Pysanky egg demonstrations, a coffee bar, and more.

Barnes-Shaw also reminded members that crutches for Africa, gently used bras for “Free the Girls,” and non-perishable food items for The Salvation Army are currently being collected as part of the Club’s ongoing outreach to our community and the world.

The next meeting will be on Monday, Feb. 18. Danielle Nebinski will speak on the Northern Pennsylvania Regional College.