While Britain is famous for its roses, France is equally blessed, having produced a number of famous rose breeders over the years. Lyon alone had 36 rose breeders, introducing new roses between 1840 and 1924, including Jean Beluze; Joseph Schwartz; Jean-Baptiste Guillot; and Joseph Pernet-Ducher. Their famous roses included Souvenir de la Malmaison (Beluze), which is the main feature photo for this post; Mme Alfred Carrière (Schwartz); La France (Guillot) and Cécile Brünner and Soleil d’Or (both bred by Pernet-Ducher). See: http://www.lyon-roses-2015.org/en/roses-lyon_famous_roses.htm for more! One of the best places to see these roses is:
Roseraie de l’Hay
Rue Albert Watel, 94240 L’Haÿ-les-Roses 12 km from the centre of Paris, west of the Val-de-Marne.
Roseraie de l’Hay is the French equivalent of Mottisfont, holding the National Collection of Roses since 1991. Dating from 1910, it is extremely important historically, as it was the first single-species garden and the first garden totally devoted to roses, resulting in the coining of a new term, the Roseraie. Jules Gravereaux, its originator, was responsible for the conservation of many of the old rose varieties and species in danger of being lost forever.
Roseraie de l’Hay is now the oldest rose garden in the world and is considered to be one of the world’s greatest collections of Old Garden Roses, with a very comprehensive collection of Modern Roses as well. The garden was so important in its day that the name of the town, l’Hay, was changed to L’Hay des Roses in 1910. It is also commemorated in the name of my favourite Rugosa hybrid, which has a heavenly scent! See photo below. The garden was placed on the supplementary inventory of Historic Monuments in 2005 and became a Jardin Remarquable in 2011.
It was created in 1910 by a prominent businessman, Jules Gravereaux, who was also a keen early photographer. His wife, who was worried about his health and the length of time he was spending in the dark room, asked him to create her a flower garden. Little did she realize what she was setting in train!
Starting his collection in 1894, he had 1 600 species and varieties of old roses by 1899. By 1910, this number had increased to 7 500! Gravereaux commissioned landscape architect, Edouard André, to design him a garden specifically for his roses. He created a classically French garden, with geometric beds, long allées, sculpture and a central octagonal pool. The roses were displayed not just as bushes, but trained into different shapes, grown on trellises, along wires and over arches, on pillars and cultivated in pots and urns. It is a wonderful way of showcasing the diversity of the rose from ramblers and shrub roses to tree roses and climbing roses.
Gravereaux also collected a huge number of objects and documents concerning the rose: Postcards; playing cards; medals; stamps; letters; scientific papers; books and journals; posters; carpets; silks; woodwork; ceramics and paintings, which are now housed in the Archives Department of the Val de Marne. The museum now holds 11 000 objects dating from 1701 to 1961. On his death in 1916, his son Henri took over the work at the Roseraie de l’Hay, which was eventually given to the municipality of Val de Marne in 1937.
The 1.5 hectare garden now holds 11 000 roses of 2 900 species and varieties, which are organised into 13 collections, all labelled with their name and explanatory signs describing their origins, history and varieties. It is well worth listening to the website audiotapes (in both French and English), describing each section. They include:
La Roseraie décorative à la française (Decorative French style Rose Garden): Central pool and central axis of the whole rose garden with 6 collections on either side. The bush, standard, climbing and landscape roses in this section are displayed on pylons, domes, pergolas and even cradles and replicate the formal elements of classical French gardens, like the edging pink and red climbing roses, trained into pyramids like clipped yews;
L’Allée de l’historie de la rose (Alley of the History of the Rose) with iconic roses, important in the development of the rose, like R. canina; Rosa gallica; R. moschata; R. centifolia; R. foetida; and R. chinensis;
Les Rosiers botaniques (Species roses): Wild roses, the height of trees, from all over the world. The birds love the rosehips! Eg R. canina; R. moyesii; and R. pimpinellifolia;
Les Rosiers rugeux (Rugosa roses): Tough, disease-resistant roses with rugose leaves from Japan. Gravereaux experimented with Rugosa roses for perfume production eg Rose à parfum de l’Haÿ;
Les Rosiers pimprenelle (Scots Burnett roses, R. pimpinellifolia): Tough hardy roses, which flower early and have black hips. They were used by rose breeder, Kordes, in his breeding programs, to create yellow flowers;
Les Roses galliques (Gallic Rose Garden): Fragrant roses grown in Grasse for perfume production and also used for its medicinal properties since Ancient Roman times eg R. gallica officinalis. In 1828, 1 200 out of the 2 500 varieties known were in the Gallicanae genus and included Gallicas, Damasks, Centifolias and Mosses; and Portlands;
Les Roses de la Malmaison (The Malmaison Rose Alley): the roses of Empress Joséphine, 250 varieties of Gallic roses. Gravereaux planted an exact copy of her garden at Malmaison in his garden eg Maiden’s Blush; and Souvenir de la Malmaison. There is a bust of Empress Joséphine at the entrance;
Les Roses d’Extrème-Orient (Roses of the Far East); Roses of Japan, China and Persia eg R. foetida; R. chinensis mutabilis; Bengal rose; Persian Yellow; and R. sempervirens. These roses were very important in the hybridization of the rose with their yellows and their recurrent blooming ability. Support structures are made out of bamboo, stone edging replaces the box edging of the other garden beds, and there are two ceramic statues at the entrance;
Les Roses horticoles anciennes (Old horticultural roses); Largest area of the garden. Roses bred between 1845 and 1940 from crosses between the European roses and the newly introduced roses from China: the Noisettes; Bourbons; Polyanthas; Floribundas; and Hybrid Teas;
Les Roses étrangières modernes (Modern foreign roses); Roses bred in Belgium, England, Germany and America after the 1950s by breeders like Louis Lens; David Austin; Kordes and Walter Lammerts;
Les Roses françaises moderns (Modern French Roses) eg ‘Rouge Adam’ (Adam), ‘Chartreuse de Parme’ (Delbard), ‘Persane’ (Dorieux), ‘Coraline’ (Eve), ‘Pénélope’ (Gaujard), and ‘Poker’ (Meilland);
Les Roses thé (Tea Roses): 100 tea roses, planted on the south-facing outer wall in the warmest position of the garden and mulched with straw in Winter. A cross between a Bourbons and a Noisette produced the first Tea rose, Adam. Tea roses have a delicate perfume and are recurrent blooming;
La Roseraie de Mme Gravereaux: Mme Gravereaux’s alley of flowers for cutting, the original reason for the garden. Roses arranged in coloured squares;
There is a map on : http://www.rosegathering.com/lhay4a.html.
The Formal Garden has all the vocabulary of a classical garden with statues; domes; pergolas and the Temple of Love, popular for weddings. Originally hosting the outdoor theatre and other performers of the Belle Époque (comedians, musicians, poets, singers and dancers), it is still a venue for musical events, as well as lectures and workshops on rose planting, cultivation, training and pruning.While I prefer roses grown as part of a garden, complemented by a wide variety of trees, shrubs, climbers, perennials, annuals and grasses, like the next two gardens, I would not miss visiting Roseraie de l’Hay for its educational aspects alone!
La Bonne Maison
99 Chemin de Fontanières
, 69350 La Mulatière, Lyon, France
If I ever get to France again, La Bonne Maison is a definite must on my bucket list. I did in fact send my daughter there in 2012 and she returned with Odile’s beautiful book about her garden, especially her beloved roses , which I reviewed briefly in my post at: https://candeloblooms.com/2017/01/10/fabulous-rose-books/. See photo below.
Odile Masquelier is an Old Rose expert, who has published numerous articles on the subject and has lectured at conferences all over the world.
Odile and her husband, Georges, bought the walled 2.5 acre (1 hectare) property back in 1966, when the original garden comprised of: An old orchard in the upper part of the garden with difficult stony soil; a kitchen garden to the east; a gravelled courtyard to the north and to the south, a lawn with Polyantha roses and some large ornamental trees, including 3 Catalpa trees (Indian Bean tree); a Chestnut Tree; pines; an Atlas Cedar; a Weeping Willow and an allée of six sycamore maples, which she immediately removed. The lower part of the garden had the richest soil and was divided between sunny and semi-shaded areas.
Over the next 10 years, they established lawns and built 12 low drystone walls and steps out of dressed slabs of Burgundy to link the six terraces of the garden and create unity, as well as limit erosion from the stormwater runoff. A trip to Scotland in 1975 opened Odile’s eyes to the soothing potential of pastel, grey and white colour schemes, as well as introducing her to Old Roses, many with French names.
She planted six hedges (Cedar stricta; Laurus cerasus; Chamaecyparis lawsonia columnaris, Thuja candensis, box and yew) to protect the garden from the northerly and southerly winds and create micro-climates for bulbs and clematis. The soil is a mixture of heavy clay and limestone pebbles and is slightly alkaline. Its fertility has been improved over the years with peat and home-made compost, the recipe being on her website.
Odile ordered her first Old Roses from England, as well as an old, now long gone, nursery in Angers, Pajotin & Chedane. She has also bought many roses from André Eve, Pithiviers (see below), as well as a grower in Ardèche. I wonder if the latter is my next rose grower, Éléonore Cruse? Many of the roses have been grown from cuttings, some of them given to her by Professor Gianfranco Fineschi, of Cavriglio, Tuscany, Italy, also featured below, like the Macartney Rose, R. bracteata, growing up a Thuya; and a double form of R. hugonis.
She had wrought-iron arches made locally and built large porticos at the entrance to the different garden areas.
In 1987, she opened the garden to the public and in 1989, established the first old rose society in France, the Association des Roses Anciennes de la Bonne Maison, to preserve and research old roses. In 2006, the garden was awarded 2 stars in the Guide Vert Michelin Lyon Drôme Ardèche for its rose collection and in 2010, was given the label of Jardin Remarquable.
It certainly deserves its title! This is a very impressive garden, over 50 years old, which is constantly in flower from March to November. There are:
Over 800 varieties of roses, all labelled with their name, date, origin and family, which flower from early April till the first frosts. They are grown as shrubs or hedges; supported on pillars; arches and pergolas; against garden and house walls; and high up into trees like the Peace Cedar; the Paulownia; the Sophora; the Prunus and the Holm Oaks, their rosehips complementing the Autumn foliage of deciduous trees;
110 varieties of clematis;
60 varieties of daffodils;
A collection of tree and herbaceous peonies; and
A collection of pest-resistant hostas, 26 listed on the website.
There are mature trees, including Cedars and Cypresses; Deodars; Golden Thujas; Buxus sempervirens trees; Paulownias; Judas Tree, Cercis siliquastrum; Japanese Pagoda Tree, Sophora japonica; two different species of Tamarisk; Gingko biloba; Golden Robinia, Robinia pseudo-acacia ‘Frisia’; Golden Rain Tree, Koelreuteria paniculata; Magnolia grandiflora; Weeping Pussy-Willow, Salix caprea pendula; Weeping Silver Pear, Pyrus salicifolia pendula; Weeping Laburnum; Silver Birches; Liquidambar; Kousa Dogwood, Cornus kousa chinensis, and White Dogwood, Cornus alba ; Chestnuts; Malus (Golden Hornet and a Purple Crab); a variety of Prunus; Flowering Cherries; Cherry, Morello Cherry and Greengage Plum trees; and Pear, Quince and Apple trees.
Shrubs include: Kolwitzia ‘Bridal Wreath’; Corylopsis; Box; Ceanothus; Sarcococca; Smoke Bush; Purple Berberis; a wide range of different species of Hydrangeas, Viburnums, Philadephus and Magnolias; Plumbagos; Moroccan Broom, Cytisus battandieri; Erica carnea; Weigela; Spiraea japonica; Choisya ternata; Cistus; Daphne; 4 different types of bamboo; Miscanthus variegatum; a variety of lavenders; tree and herbaceous peonies; Canadian lilacs; Fuchsia magellanica; yuccas and old-fashioned rose shrubs, species roses and ramblers; while climbers include Boston Ivy, Honeysuckle Clematis montana; Golden Hop, Humulus lupula ‘Aureus’, and many climbing roses.
Roses include Opaline; Fontanières; Albertine; R. brunonii La Mortola; Thalia; Mme Grégoire Staechelin; City of York; R. primula; La Bonne Maison; Pauline; Alida Lovett; R. hugonis;R. laevigata; Jaune Desprez; Sandler’s White Rambler ; Duchess de Portland; Suzie; Cornelia; Lawrence Johnston; R. cantabrigiensis; Souvenir de la Malmaison; René André; Madeleine Selzer; Primavère; Mrs FW Flight; R. ecae; R. foetida persiana; Gardenia; Princesse Marie; Thérèse Bugnet; Honorine de Brabant; Rose du Maître d’Ecole; Duchesse d’Auerstädt; Inès; Buff Beauty; Cornelia and Félicia; Albèric Barbier; Francis Lester; Stanwell Perpetual; Mme Alfred Carrière; Constance Spry; Phyllis Bide; Bleu Magenta; Léontine Gervais;Aviateur Blériot; Mme d’Arblay; Maria Lisa; Easlea Golden Rambler; Rambling Rector; Alister Stella Gray; Mme Ernest Calvat; Souvenir de St Anne; Salet; Honorine de Brabant; Hero; Cynthia; Charles de Mills; Tuscany Superb; Jenny Duval; Goldfinch; Kew Rambler; Blush Noisette; Meg; Laure Davoust; Aimée Vibert; Lady Hillingdon; François Juranville; Ghislaine de Féligonde; Max Graf; and Rêve d’Or.
The roses are under-planted with herbaceous perennials, annuals, biennials and bulbs. The former three plant types include in alphabetical order:
Allium giganteum and Allium hollandicum; Aquilegias; Arabis; Asters; Aubrietias; Basil; Bergamot; Brunnera macrophylla; Campanulas (25 different types); Candytuft( Iberis sempervirens); Caryopteris; Clary Sage; Convovulus; Crambe cordifolia ; Delphiniums; Dianthus; Dicentra spectabilis; Dusty Miller (Senecio cineraria); Dyer’s Chamomile (Anthemis tinctoria); Echinops ritro; a variety of Epimediums and Euphorbias; Fennel; Ferns; Foxgloves; Gaillardias; Geraniums; Giant Sea Holly (Eryngium giganteum); Goats Beard (Aruncus sylvester); Golden Marjoram; Hebes; Helianthemums; Hellebores (H. niger; H. orientalis; and H. argutifolius); Herbs; Heucheras; Hostas; Indian Pinks; Japanese Anemones; Jerusalem Sage (Phlomis); Lady’s Mantle; Lysimachia mummularia aurea; Purple Loosestrife( Lythrus salicania); Meadow Rue (Thalictrum flavum); Nepeta; Nicotiana; Oriental Poppies; Penstemon; Poppies ; Potentilla fruticosa; Primula japonica; Rue; Salvias (15 different species;); Santolina neapolitana; Saxifraga; Sedum spectabilis; Snow-in-Summer, Cerastium tomentosum; Solanum; Stachys; Sweet Peas; Tagetes; Thrift (Armeria maritima); Thyme; Tiarellas; Tradescantia virginiana; Veronicas of different varieties; Violets; Virginia Stock (Malcomia maritima); Water-Lilies; White Rose Campion (Lychnis coronaria alba); Wormwood (Artemisia absinthium) and Zinnias.
Bulbs include: Agapanthus; Crocus; Colchicum; Cyclamen; many Daffodils; Fritillaries; Galanthus; Hemerocallis; a wide variety of Iris: Iris acuminata; Iris chinensis; Iris florentina; Iris germanica; Iris intermedia (Bearded Iris); Iris pacifica; Iris reticulata; Iris stylosa; Iris susiana; Iris tectorum; and Iris unguicularis; Jonquils; many different Lilies; Nerines; Schizostylis; and Tulips (Species and Hybrid).
It is well worth consulting the website for the plants blooming in each month.
There are a number of sweeping lawns; curving paths; a pond, a well and a swimming pool; pots and statues; seats and lots of different garden areas to explore: The Courtyard; The Glass House and Cold Frames Area; The Heather Slope; The Potager and Herb Garden; the Main Lawn; the Mixed Border; the Yucca Garden; the Small Wood; the Secret Garden; the Apple Lawn; the Swimming Pool; the Species Rose Garden; the Hydrangea Beds and Magnolia Lawn; the West Border; the New Enclosure; the New Garden, both enclosed by hedges; the New Well Gardens; the Iris Walk and the Pond.
Here is a photo of a map of the garden from pages 154 to 155 of Odile’s book and a key:
The book describes each area in detail and the photographs of the garden are superb. Odile has a wonderful eye for beautiful colour combinations.
There are 5 pergolas with 65 arches:
The Hard-Packed Path Pergola, the path bisecting the upper and lower parts of the garden and bordered with bearded iris and poppies in sunny areas and herbaceous and tree peonies in the shade.; the Yucca Garden Pergola; the Orchard Pergola; the Well Pergola; and the Secret Garden Pergola.
The garden has been organically managed for the last 15 years, with no weedicides, insecticides or fungicides used.Another French garden that I would love to visit is the wonderfully wild and blowsy garden, La Roseraie de Berty, belonging to Éléonore Cruse:
Roseraie de Berty
07110 Largentière, France
Another leading French rose specialist is Éléonore Cruse, who owns a lovely romantic rose garden, the Roseraie de Berty, in the valley of the Roubreau, 6 km (15 minutes drive) from the medieval village of Largentière, 2 hours drive south of Lyons. This area experiences severe Winters and heat waves in Summer, so plants have to be tough!
Éléonore bought the 18th century stone farmhouse and land, which had been an old peach orchard, in 1970. The schist soil was very poor, acidic and regularly leached. Initially, she used it for self-sufficiency, grazing goats and sheep, and growing dye plants and vegetables. Gradually, she improved the soil with goat, sheep and cow manure and crops of rye, phacelia and potatoes. Her partner, Christian Biette, slowly rebuilt the low stone walls. She started experimenting with roses, which are tough enough to withstand the extreme climate, learning much from André Eve and garden writer, Michel Lys.
The 1.2 acre (0.5 ha) rose garden was created in 1984 and is comprised of terraces on several different levels and has a naturalistic informal romantic style, so different to the formality of the traditional French rose garden, though structure is still provided by clipped yew and box to create secret areas of the garden. Éléonore has an artist’s eye, creating beautiful harmonious pictures with roses, perennials and ground covers.
It is a collector’s garden with 600 to 700 old roses and species roses, some as tall as trees, tumbling over walls, arches, pergolas and arbours and covering the house walls. They include the Scots Burnett roses; Rugosas; Zéphirine Drouhin; Alexander Girault; Albéric Barbier; Constance Spry; Mme Alfred Carrière; and New Dawn. I have chosen Scots rose, Stanwell Perpetual, to be my feature photo for this wild romantic garden. See below.
They are interplanted with shrubs, perennials and medicinal and aromatic companion plants, including sage, thyme, lavender and rosemary, to avoid the problems of monoculture and minimise pests and diseases. Minimal sprays and no fertilizers are used, except for a dose of manure on planting. A Bordeaux (Copper sulphate) mixture is applied at leaf fall and bud swell and roses, susceptible to downy mildew, may be dusted with sulphur by hand.
The roses are underplanted with heartease, Viola tricolor; wild pansies; perennial geraniums (Geranium sanguineum; G. psilostemon; and G. grandiflorum); Tradescantia virginiana; epimediums; Phyla nodiflora; Californian poppies; rose campion, Lychnis coronaria; nepeta; and grasses. The walls are covered with Erigeron karvinskianus. Ground covers include: wild strawberries; Matricaria tchihatchewii; and Frankenia laevis.
The outer edges of the garden blend seamlessly into the natural landscape without any clear boundaries. The steeply wooded slopes are covered in arbutus; box; bay (laurel); holly oak; chestnuts and heather. The stream below the garden regularly floods, so its banks are left to rough grass, interspersed with wild orchids, and is mowed twice a year.
In 2010, the garden was designated a Jardin Remarquable. It is only open to the public in June. There is a small tearoom and nursery, whose catalogue lists 309 varieties of rose, available bare-rooted between November and March. Éléonore has written a number of books on roses, including: Les Roses Sauvages 2001; Roses Anciennes 2005; and Leçons pour un Jardin de Roses 2007.‘Les Jardins d’André Eve’
André Eve (1931-2015) was a famous French nurseryman and rose breeder, responsible for the conservation and rediscovery of many old roses, as well as being a mentor to my previous two rose gardeners, so I would have to include a visit to his nursery and gardens! He moved to Pithiviers in 1958, where he trained under the elderly French rose breeder, Marcel Robichon, then bought his nursery in 1968 , specialising in rose breeding and landscaping.
Nursery: Les Roses Anciennes André Eve
Domaine du Château de Chamerolles 301 route de Courcy – Gallerand 45170 Chilleurs-aux-Bois North-east of Orleans
The first rose he bred was a bright pink Polyantha, Sylvie Vartas, in 1968. He and his nursery team went on to breed and introduce 33 more varieties, including: Red Perfume; Sophie; Prestige de Bellegarde; Sandrine; Coraline; Suzie; Suzette; Suzon; Miss Lorraine; Mme Solvay; Carla Fineschi; Albert Poyet; Pierre Perret; Moraya Rouge; Belle de Clermont; Eccentric; Lépine; Château du Rivau; Roville; Rose des Cores; Rose des Blés; L’Auberge de l’Ill; Garden of Granville; and of course, André Eve!
His first catalogue in 1985 listed 275 varieties of roses, including 60 species roses and now offers 600 varieties.
He created a beautiful, romantic, informal walled garden, 18 metres wide by 80 metres long, hidden behind a terraced house and accessed by a narrow passage. Starting in the 1960s, it is now over 50 years old, but unfortunately is rarely open to the public, but can be visited on the links below:
28 Faubourg d’Orleans, Loiret, Pithiviers, 45300 Orleans 37 miles (60 km) south of Paris
It is such a beautiful, blowsy old garden, created on chalky soil with a pH of 7.5, with 500 roses of rare and historic cultivars, like Ghislaine de Féligonde, Bobbie James, Lady Hillingdon; Blairi No 2; The Garland; May Queen; Claire Jacquier; Rosa gigantea; R. palustris; R. omeiensis pteracantha; R. carolina; Cerise Bouquet; Felicia; Buff Beauty; Nur Mahal; Kathleen; Prairie Dawn; Golden Wings; Mme Hardy; Charles de Mills; Chapeau de Napoléon; ; Complicata; R. gallica officinalis; R. moschata; R. gallica splendens; Rosa eglanteria; Cécile Brünner; Alba Semi-Plena; Empereur du Maroc; Gloire de Dijon; Albéric Barbier; Maria Lisa; Albertine; Mme Pierre Oger; Belvedere; Céleste; Souvenir de Mme Léonie Viennot; Souvenir d’Alphonse Lavallée; Mutabilis and many Noisettes (see photo below: Mme Alfred Carrière); spilling over garden walls, climbing through trees and over the sedum-covered roof of the Summer House, as well as the glasshouse and potting shed! He sourced them from Roseraie de l’Hay; old nurseries; private gardens; and England.
He was a strong proponent of an informal style of garden with narrow curving paths, seats, and many different trees, shrubs, climbers, foliage plants of differing colour, texture and pattern, bulbs and perennials, annuals and grasses mixed in with the roses, which he planted in groups of three. Trees include silver birches and flowering cherry, Prunus Kanzan.
Here is an extensive list of his plantings, which is worthwhile including for ideas of companion plants for roses:
Aegopodium podagraria variegatum (Variegated Ground Elder);
Bearded Iris- often bicoloured eg French Can Can;
Campanulas eg Campanula persicifolia;
Clematis including Brunette; Lord Neville, Vyvyan Pennell; Will Goodwin and Niobe;
Euphorbia characias characius Burrow Silver;
Heucheras eg dark purple Binoche and warm orange Marmalade;
Hostas (130 varieties);
Iris pseudacorus Roy Davidson;
Jerusalem Sage (Phlomis);
Salvia nemerosa Ostfriesland;
Veronica umbrosa Georgia Blue; and
André Eve retired in 2000 and moved to Morailles in the late 1990s to concentrate on creating this display garden, close to the nursery, which is open to the public. It was expanded in 2005
‘Jardins d’André Eve’
1, rue André Eve, Z.A. Morailles – Pithiviers-le-Vieil, Pays De La Loire 45300 Cedex
There is an English translation at:
https://translate.google.com.au/translate?hl=en&sl=fr&u=https://www.rustica.fr/tv/visite-jardin-andre-eve,6836.html&prev=search, though the video is still in French.
All year :
Monday to Friday from 9 am to 12.30 pm and from 2 pm to 6 pm.
From April to June, exceptional opening on Saturdays, Sundays and bank holidays from 9 am to 6 pm. (Please inquire beforehand)
Closed between Christmas and New Year.
This garden is typical of his style: Sweeping curved beds, outlined by grass paths, and full of mixed perennials amongst the roses. The entrance is via a long birch wood arbour, covered in climbing roses and clematis, with secondary grassed aisles leading off it. There are over 600 roses!
André Eve died in 2015 at the age of 84 years old. His successor is Guy André, whose real name is Guy Delbard.And finally, while in France, I would have to visit a rose farm in season:
Domaine de Manon
36 Chemin du Servan, Plascassier village, 06130 Grasse
Farmed by three generations of the same family since the 1930s and now grand-daughter, Carole Biancalana, the 3 ha farm is devoted to growing the Centifolia Rose (also called the May Rose, seen in the photo below), as well as Jasminium grandiflorum (August to October) for the Grasse perfume industry, specifically for Christian Dior (Rose Absolute is used in J’Adore L’Or; Poison, Miss Dior, Diorissimo and Miss Dior Original).
The rose harvest lasts four to six weeks, from May to early June, depending on the amount of sunshine, and the blooms are harvested daily from 8 am to 11.30 am. It takes a day to pick 100-300 kg of rose petals, 30 roses produce a single drop of essential rose oil; and 800 kg of rose petals to produce 1 liter of Rose Absolute.
At Domaine de Manon, the roses are grown organically and are still gathered and processed much as they were three centuries ago. The blooms are cold-washed and processed by extraction.My final bucket-list of overseas rose gardens is tomorrow and features some wonderful Italian and German rose gardens.