Monet's garden at Argenteuil near Paris provided the subject matter for this painting: a flower bed of tall gladioli shimmering in the light. The figure standing under an umbrella is the artist's wife, Camille, enjoying a leisurely stroll. Rather than being the focal point of the painting, she is merely a figure used to define the space. The flower bed itself dominates the composition. Using thick, short brushstrokes that appear as dabs at close range but synthesize at a distance, and juxtaposing red and pink blossoms against green foliage, Monet simulates the shimmering visual sensations experienced on a hot summer day.