Bucket List of Rose Gardens in France

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.

https://roseraie.valdemarne.fr/

https://roseraie.valdemarne.fr/jardin-13-collections

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.blogspeciesrosesreszd20%2016-11-15-13-41-50While 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

https://sites.google.com/site/labonnemaisoneng/

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:BlogBucketFranceReszd2017-08-17 10.40.00BlogBucketFranceReszd25%2017-09-22 15.14.52.jpg

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.blogrosebooks25reszdimage-223Another 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

http://www.roseraie-de-berty.com/

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.blogspeciesrosesreszd20%2016-11-10-09-19-11‘Les Jardins d’André Eve’

http://york.zenfolio.com/jun-12-andre-eve-roses-v2.pdf

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

http://www.roses-anciennes-eve.com/

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:

Private Garden:

28 Faubourg d’Orleans, Loiret, Pithiviers, 45300 Orleans 37 miles (60 km) south of Paris

https://translate.google.com.au/translate?hl=en&sl=fr&u=http://baladesetjardins.fr/le-jardin-dandre-eve-2/&prev=search

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=45Qn4N2XJDE

http://threedogsinagarden.blogspot.com.au/2014/04/a-visit-to-andre-eves-rose-garden-in.html.

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);

Allium cristophii;

Ammi majus;

Anchusas;

Aquilegias;

Asparagus;

Asters;

Bearded Iris- often bicoloured  eg French Can Can;

Campanulas eg Campanula persicifolia;

Clematis including Brunette; Lord Neville, Vyvyan Pennell; Will Goodwin and Niobe;

Crocus;

Delphiniums;

Digitalis;

Euphorbia characias characius Burrow Silver;

Ferns;

Forget-me-nots;

Geraniums;

Heucheras eg dark purple Binoche and warm orange Marmalade;

Hostas (130 varieties);

Iris pseudacorus Roy Davidson;

Jerusalem Sage (Phlomis);

Lavenders;

Meconopsis;

Moon daisies;

Mulleins;

Narcissi;

Nepetas;

Nigella;

Oriental Poppies;

Peonies;

Pinks;

Raspberries;

Rhubarb;

Salvia nemerosa Ostfriesland;

Tulips;

Veronica umbrosa Georgia Blue; and

Welsh Poppies.

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 

https://www.rustica.fr/tv/visite-jardin-andre-eve,6836.html.

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.BlogNoisettesReszd2016-11-05 18.37.23And 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

http://www.le-domaine-de-manon.com/index-page=the-centifolia-rose.php.html

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OEQVZ_28iSg

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LePGMpt9pVw

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.BlogCentifoliasReszd2014-10-19 13.11.08My final bucket-list of overseas rose gardens is tomorrow and features some wonderful Italian and German rose gardens.

Fabulous Rose Books

Since roses, and particularly Old Roses, are the major focus of my blog this year, I thought it would be useful to discuss a few of my favourite rose books, as a start to my monthly posts on books this year, as well as to provide a reference point and future reading material for those readers, who share my passion or whose interest is piqued! Note: The name Old Roses refer to Heritage or Old-Fashioned  Roses, mostly hailing from the pre-1900s, rather than chronologically old or new bushes!   First up,

 ‘Classic Roses’ by Peter Beales 1985 and 1997

This thick heavy book is THE Old Rose bible and if you can only ever get one rose book, this is it! I could not manage without it! In fact, I actually have two copies: My much-battered original 1st edition hardback from 1985 (photo 1) and an updated, revised and enlarged 2nd edition paperback (photo 2) given to me by my Mum, from whom I inherited my passion for roses (passing it on in turn to my daughter Caro!) in 1997. The first edition includes chapters titled: the History and Evolution of the Rose; Roses in the Landscape; the Cultivation of Roses and a detailed Dictionary of all the major rose cultivar groups and their members; as well as having an appendix of all the major rose gardens in the world at that time.blogrosebooks25reszdimage-208

The 2nd edition is very similar in content, but includes different photographs, more roses including ground-cover or procumbent roses and extra information. For example: the Early Development of the Modern Rose; the Mystery Roses of Bermuda; and Rustling Roses, as well as a World Climatic Map, Height and Colour Charts and lists of Rose Societies and Rose Producers and Suppliers throughout the world in the back.blogrosebooks30reszdimage-218

I consult these books constantly when planning new rose gardens or ordering new roses, though do be aware that Peter’s height and width specifications are for the cooler British and Northern European climate. I find my roses are often much taller and wider here in sunny warm Australia. For example, Mutabilis, my ‘butterfly’ China rose is specified in Peter’s book as 90 cm tall and 60cm wide, whereas I have seen huge shrubs of it here in Australia. Walter Duncan has a bush at least 2 m tall and 2 m wide in his Heritage Garden (photo below).blogrosebooks20reszdimg_9737blogrosebooks20reszdimg_9512 Having said that, Peter Beales (1936 – 2013) was, and still is (through his books), THE  Old Rose authority in the United Kingdom, having grown them from the age of 16 years. He has a wonderful nursery in Attleborough, Norfolk and has been awarded 23 Gold Medals by the RHS Chelsea Flower Show from 1989 to 2016. See: https://www.classicroses.co.uk/ . Even if you (like me!) cannot visit the nursery, it is well worth exploring this site for its wealth of information on roses and their cultivation. I would have loved to wander round his beautiful, romantic display gardens, but I do have a delightful old VHS video produced by Peter Beales called ‘A Celebration of Old Roses’ , set to the dreamy music of Elgar. While no longer available, the Peter Beales website does sell a DVD called ‘Growing Roses with Peter Beales’, which is out of stock at the moment.blogrosebooks50reszdimage-232 Peter also wrote a lovely large coffee-table book titled ‘Visions of Roses 1996, which explores a large number of exquisite rose gardens in the world, including La Bonne Maison in France; Helmingham Hall and Nymans in England; and Ninfa in Italy (see photos below of its front and back cover). The photography by Vivian Russell is superb and there are boxed descriptions of specific roses. It is a beautiful inspiring book with some wonderful ideas and of course, stunning roses! I would dearly love to purchase his autobiography, ‘Rose Petals and Muddy Footprints’, published in 2008.blogrosebooks25reszdimage-219blogrosebooks25reszdimage-222

David Austin is the other BIG name in roses in the United Kingdom and is possibly even better known to the general public than Peter Beales through his breeding of English Roses, beautiful constantly- flowering roses with all the best attributes of Old Roses. Fortunately, he is still with us, now the ripe old age of 90 (born 1926)! He too has his own nursery on the other side of the country at Albrighton, Wolverhampton in Shropshire, and has won 22 Gold Medals from the Chelsea Flower Show. See: http://www.davidaustinroses.co.uk/. I have two of his books :

David Austin’s English Roses: Australian Edition 1996 by David Austin

The English Roses: Classic Favourites and New Selections 2009 by David Austin.

I love these books for their photography alone, as well as background information about the different varieties. blogrosebooks25reszdimage-209

They are such beautiful roses and form the basis of my Moon Bed. I would love to visit his display gardens one day, but in the meantime can enjoy a taster through his wonderful photographs in the 2009 book !blogrosebooks25reszdimage-216

Roger Phillips and Martyn Rix are also very well-known authorities on all things to do with the garden. In fact, they have produced a wonderfully informative series of books on garden plants from shrubs to perennials and bulbs and … roses!

Roses: The Garden Plant Series by Roger Phillips and Martyn Rix 1994

The Quest for the Rose by Roger Phillips and Martyn Rix 1993

A more compact rose encyclopaedia than Classic Roses, the Rose guide contains colour photographs of the cut flowers, as well as rose shrubs and their landscapes. I also find this book useful, as it has a large section on the more modern roses : Hybrid Teas, Floribundas and Miniature Roses.blogrosebooks25reszdimage-213

The Quest for the Rose is a BBC book, which was made into a film, about their research into the history and origins of the rose, including their journey to the foothills of the Himalayas in Western China to find wild relations of China and Tea roses. It also has interesting snippets about all the important rose breeders, an area about which my knowledge is fairly sketchy!blogrosebooks25reszdimage-217

The other rose encyclopaedia, which I should, but do not have in my rose library is : the RHS Encyclopedia of Roses by Charles and Brigid Quest-Ritson 2011, described as: ‘the definitive A-Z guide to over 2,000 species’. For a look at the cover, see : https://www.dk.com/uk/9781405373852-rhs-encyclopedia-of-roses/. I have borrowed this book from the library, but as the number of new rose breeds increases exponentially every year, I suspect this five year old publication is already outdated and since my major interest is Old Roses, I feel I have it adequately covered by the books that I already have!  Maybe, I will access the online version, found at : http://www.b-alexander.com/encyclopedia-of-roses.pdf.

My next book hails from across the English Channel in Lyon, France :

La Bonne Maison: Jardin de Roses Anciennes by Odile Masquelier 2001

La Bonne Maison is a beautiful old rose garden, developed by Odile Masquelier, a French authority on heritage roses , over the past 50 years. As she recounts in her book, she spent the first six years of her life toddling after her mother in this old orchard and vegetable garden high on a Lyons hillside, before rediscovering it and buying the old property in 1966 as the mother of two young children.  Over the years, the city has expanded and it is now a residential area, dwarfed by a huge block of flats behind.blogrosebooks25reszdp1190564 While it is highly unlikely, I will get to visit her garden in the physical sense, my daughter Jen acted as my proxy on her first European trip in the Spring of 2012.blogrosebooks25reszdp1190543 Unfortunately, it was a little too early for the roses, but she did get to see some beautiful Spring blossom and bulbs (mainly tulips, narcissi and early peonies) and the bones of the garden, as well as meet the charming Odile with her 13 year old grand-daughter, who did speak English and gave Jen a guided tour of the garden.blogrosebooks25reszdp1190593 She bought me her book as a much-desired and hinted-for birthday present. Unfortunately, unless you are fluent in French or can get it translated, this beautiful book is for French readers only! I spent a wonderful week translating it all and it was well worth the effort! Fortunately, Odile does have a website with an English version. See: http://www.labonnemaison.org/  and click on the English Version link.blogrosebooks25reszdimage-223

This wonderful garden is also described in The Secret Gardens of France by Mirabel Osler 1992, along with a chapter dedicated to the rose garden of Andre Eve, a very prominent French rose breeder in Pithiviers, SW of Paris, famous for ‘Les Roses Anciennes de Andre Eve’. See French website: http://www.roses-anciennes-eve.com/epages/rosesanciennes.sf .blogrosebooks30reszdimage-235

While on the subject of French rose writers, Eléonore Cruse has a beautiful wild rose garden called ‘La Roseraie de Berty’ in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region, Southern France, and has  written a number of books including: Roses Anciennes and Les Roses Sauvages. For information about these books and Eleanor’s garden,  see : http://www.roseraie-de-berty.com.

And now to a number of books by Australian collector, Susan Irvine, who used to own Bleak House, a Victorian nursery from which I sourced many of my old roses in our old garden at ‘Creekside’ in Armidale.

Garden of a Thousand Roses: Making a Rose Garden in Australia 1992

A Hillside of Roses 1994

Susan Irvine’s Rose Gardens : Garden of a Thousand Roses with A Hillside of Roses 1998

Fragrant Roses 1996

Rose Gardens of Australia 1997

The Garden at Forest Hall 2002

Rosehips and Crabapples: A Rose-Lover’s Diary 2007

These are all delightful books, in which Susan writes about her long-term love affair with roses! The first book describes the garden she developed at Bleak House, Malmsbury, Victoria, while its sequel  ‘A Hillside of Roses’ follows the formation of her second garden at ‘Erinvale’, Gisborne, Victoria, which also housed her collection of Alister Clark roses (photos and description in the appendix).blogrosebooks30reszdimage-227

In 1998, both titles were published in the one book: ‘Susan Irvine’s Rose Gardens : Garden of a Thousand Roses with A Hillside of Roses ‘.blogrosebooks30reszdimage-233

In ‘Fragrant Roses’, Susan discusses 62 of her favourite roses (including modern roses), many of which I also love. It is always interesting comparing notes about favourite roses with other rose lovers and wonderful when you meet people with a similar taste and selection of favourites!*blogrosebooks50reszdimage-225‘Rose Gardens of Australia’ is a particular favourite, as it has formed the basis of many of our Australian pilgrimages like David Ruston’s Garden in Renmark; Red Cow Farm in the Southern Highlands (https://candeloblooms.com/2016/12/20/a-garden-weekend-in-the-southern-highlands-part-1/); Carrick Hill and Heide (https://candeloblooms.com/2016/02/09/favourite-gardens-regularly-open-to-the-public-historic-homes-and-gardens/) ; and Bolobek and Cruden Farm (https://candeloblooms.com/2016/08/02/part-2-favourite-private-gardens-historic-gardens-part-2/), as well as Walter Duncan’s Hughes Park, though by the time we visited him, he was living in his new garden at the Heritage Garden, near Clare. We still have plenty more places in the book to visit like Ruth Irving’s Al-Ru Farm at One Tree Hill in South Australia and Heather Cant’s florist garden at Gowan Brae, near Bowral, NSW !  All in all, it is a lovely browsy coffee-table book like Peter Beales’ ‘Visions of Roses’. There is even a Select List of Roses for Australian Gardens  with landscaping suggestions, descriptions and comments for each rose in the back.blogrosebooks20reszdimage-229

By the time Susan wrote ‘The Garden at Forest Hall ‘ (1996), she had moved to a beautiful old derelict Georgian sandstone mansion at Elizabeth Town, near Deloraine, Northern Tasmania, where she restored the house and revived the neglected  garden, the experience documented in her diaries from 2003 to 2005, the basis of her book ‘Rosehips and Crabapples’. She collaborated with photographer Simon Griffiths for her last three books and his photographs are superb.blogrosebooks30reszdimage-228 In 1994,  Susan received the Australian Rose Award from the National Rose Society of Australia and in 2001, became a Life Member of Heritage Roses Australia. She even had a rose named after her in 1996 : the Hybrid Gigantea rose called ‘Susan Irvine‘, which is very fitting given that she has had so much to do with the collection and conservation of Alister Clark roses, many of which involved R. gigantea in their parentage. While it is unlikely any more books will be forthcoming (Susan is in her late 80s), she has certainly left a legacy of beauty in both her gardens and her writings. I particularly loved the antique-looking thick paper and presentation of her final diary.blogrosebooks30reszdimage-226*With reference to the preferences of different rose lovers, especially when it comes to favourite roses, I really enjoyed reading Roses: A Celebration by Wayne Winterwood 2003, in which  34 gardeners and rose lovers write about their favourite rose. Contributors include: Peter Beales, Graham Stuart Thomas, David Austin, Christopher Lloyd, Mirabel Osler, Ken Druse and Dan Hinkley.blogrosebooks30reszdimage-211

Growing Old-Fashioned Roses in Australia and New Zealand by Trevor Nottle 1983

This was one of my first rose books- in fact, it was published the year we were married (so it’s a very old book now!), but it did the job and was very well-thumbed at the start of the increased popularity of Old Roses in the 1980s, before all the luscious rose books came into print.

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Trevor Nottle is a South Australian rosarian, garden historian and heritage consultant, who has written 17 gardening books, many about old roses and Mediterranean and dry-climate gardening, including another book we own : ‘Plants for a Changing Climate’. See his blog at : https://trevornottle.wordpress.com/.blogrosebooks25reszdimage-234

Two more definitive influences in the development of my rose passion and knowledge were : Gardening with Old Roses: An Australasian Guide by Alan Sinclair and Rosemary Thodey  1993   and  Climbing and Rambling Roses: A Guide for Cultivation, Selection and Care by Sally Allison 1993.

The authors of both books hail from New Zealand, a country well-known for its beautiful rose gardens. Alan Sinclair has a huge private rose garden and nursery ‘Roseneath’ , north of Auckland in the North Island, while Sally Allison has been  a past President of Heritage Roses NZ and has a 10 acre country garden Lyddington, near Rangiora, 27 km north of Christchurch on the South Island. Alan’s book is a very useful reference on landscaping with Old Roses, as well as their care and history and has lovely photographs by Rosemary Thodey.blogrosebooks30reszdimage-205 Sally’s book is an excellent guide to climbing roses and ramblers with good notes on their history, cultivation and care, and support and display, and has a terrific dictionary, backed up with her photos, as well as a list of rose gardens to visit in New Zealand.blogrosebooks30reszdimage-204Another early guide (and somewhat soiled copy!) was The Book of Old-Fashioned Roses by Dr. Judyth A. McLeod 1984, a very simple  publication, which relies solely on its written descriptions to entice the reader and is more like a catalogue than an illustrated guide. Judyth is a passionate garden historian, who has written a number of books on Old Roses, lavender and heirloom and cottage garden plants and also had a nursery at Grosevale, in the Lower Blue Mountains, near Richmond called Honeysuckle Cottage, from which we bought some of our old Armidale roses, unavailable through Bleak House, back in the 1990s. Unfortunately, the nursery has now closed, but you can see a video clip about the nursery from 2012 at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZQm1rlhG_Hk.blogrosebooks25reszdimage-214

Through the Rose Arbour: Notes From a Gardening Life 2001 by Rosemary Houseman is a delightful little book, into which to delve headlong, her prose rambling amongst stunning photos, which document her journey into the world of Old Roses. She started her own nursery The Rose Arbour in Melbourne, Victoria in 1982.blogrosebooks50reszdimage-212An even tinier rose guide is the pocket-sized  A Little Guide to Old Roses by Hazel le Rougetel 1992. It is a sweet little book with hand-coloured illustrations of 28 iconic and favourite Old Roses. Hazel le Rougetel (1917 – 2010) wrote and lectured about old roses and was a founding member of the Historic Roses Group. Ros Wallinger wrote a piece about Hazel’s life on Page 4 of the Spring/ Summer No. 4 Newsletter for the Hampshire Garden Trust. See: http://www.hgt.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/Spring-Summer-newsletter.pdf.blogrosebooks50reszdimage-202blogrosebooks25reszd2017-01-14-17-00-09The Old Rose world is a close-knit community and it was not surprising to learn that Hazel was good friends with Peter Beales and Graham Stuart Thomas, another foremost authority on Old Roses in England. He wrote the foreword to her book  A Heritage of Roses 1988, as seen in the photo above. Graham Stuart Thomas himself wrote the definitive Shrub Roses of Today back in 1962 , reprinted in 1963, 1967, 1974, 1980 and 1985. He has written a further 13 books on Old Roses and gardens and can lay credit to being responsible for the revival of interest in Old Roses. Graham Stuart Thomas (1909 – 2003) was heavily involved in the restoration of National Trust properties like Hidcote Manor and Sissinghurst Castle and their gardens, his pièce de résistance being the establishment of the National Collection of Old-Fashioned Roses at Montisfont Abbey : see https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/mottisfont  and http://www.telegraph.co.uk/gardening/5819075/Graham-Stuart-Thomas-and-the-Mottisfont-old-roses.html.blogrosebooks50reszdimage-220 He actually met the renowned Arts and Crafts garden designer Gertrude Jekyll (1843 – 1932), revising her 1902 book Roses for English Gardens by Gertrude Jekyll and Edward Mawley in 1983. While bought more for its historical interest, it is still a worthy addition to my rose library, representing a very different era in the late 1800s and early 1900s, when old roses were merely the garden roses of the day and Hybrid Teas were just starting their ascendancy to world domination.blogrosebooks50reszdimage-201-copy Famous writer and gardener, Vita Sackville-West (1892 – 1962), was also a passionate admirer of Old Roses, planting 194 different types of old roses in her garden at Sissinghurst Castle by 1953, and while she did not publish any specific rose books, she does refer to them in her more general garden musings like my copy of V. Sackville-West’s Garden Book 1968.  See : https://sissinghurstcastle.wordpress.com/2013/06/30/roses-are-blooming-part-1-2/  and  http://www.gardensillustrated.com/article/plants/15-roses-sissinghhurst-castle.blogrosebooks50reszdimage-203Two more English books on Old Roses with beautiful photography are:

Designing With Roses by Tony Lord 1999, a sumptuous book with stunning photographs of roses and their gardens and

The Rose Gardens of England by Michael Gibson 1988 

Michael Gibson (1918 – 2000) was a well-known author and passionate rosarian, who specialized in roses and rose history and even though a little out-of-date, many of the rose gardens mentioned still exist and are open to the public, so it is definitely worth consulting if you are planning a tour of English Old Rose gardens in June and then googling your choices on the internet to confirm their continued existence and opening hours.blogrosebooks30reszdimage-221 He also wrote The Book of the Rose 1980, another great find from the secondhand bookstore with an excellent section on rose history and lovely illustrated plates. He once described the rose Fantin Latour, which was rediscovered and named by Graham Stuart Thomas, as “ one of the most beautiful roses of all”.blogrosebooks25reszdimage-206

See: https://www.countrygardenroses.co.uk/about-us/rose-gardener/2011-03-04-rose-of-the-week-7/, a link which leads me very neatly to the books of Antonia Ridge (1895 – 1981),  specifically  The Man Who Painted Roses about the life of French artist Fantin Latour (1836 – 1904), who painted many still-lifes featuring roses (see: https://www.amazon.com/Man-Who-Painted-Roses-Pierre-Joseph/dp/0571105548  ), and my very favourite  For Love of a Rose, a delightfully written, slightly old-fashioned and quaint story of the creation of the Peace Rose and the Meilland and Paolino families behind it. It is a lovely happy read- everyone is decent and hard-working and it just makes you feel good!blogrosebooks50reszdimage-201I could not finish this blog without referring to one of the most famous French rose painters of all, ‘the Raphael of Flowers’, commissioned by Empress Josephine between 1817 and 1824, to paint all the roses in her famous rose collection at her chateau at Malmaison : Pierre- Joseph Redoute (1759 – 1840). Redoubte’s Roses is one of the largest books in our library and contains full-page  reproductions of colour plates of 167 roses with a brief description of each rose and its history.blogrosebooks20reszdimage-231

And finally, Naming of the Rose : Discovering Who Roses are Named For by Roger Mann 2008  is a fascinating read and gives more insight into the romance behind this beautiful flower.blogrosebooks30reszdimage-224

Next week, I will be discussing my favourite Old Rose websites. Till then…!

Postscript: I am adding in The Rose by David Austin 2012, a belated Christmas gift and the most beautiful and comprehensive book with chapters on Species Roses; the Old European Roses; Hybrid Teas and Floribundas; Polyanthas, Patio Roses and Miniatures; Shrub Roses and Ground-Covers; Climbers and Ramblers; and his own English Roses (with details and photos of 18 new roses), as well as information on how to grow these roses in the garden, companion plants for roses; maintenance of roses; and flower-arranging in the home. The photographs are so sumptuous and would be enough to convert any rose sassenach into a true believer!

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My Love Affair With France

I have always loved France, ever since my youth! I studied French at school to matriculation level, by which time I had started to automatically think in French! I loved the lyrical flow of the language and translating ‘La Gloire de Mon Père’ by Marcel Pagnol. This autobiography was later made into a film by Yves Robert called  ‘My Father’s Glory’, along with its sequel, ‘My Mother’s Castle’ , both very romantic movies, which showcase Provence through the eyes of a child. See : http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0099669/  and http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0099266/?ref_=ttpl_pl_tt .

We love French films – their beauty, sensitivity and humour – and really enjoyed our visits to the French Film festival every year in Melbourne. Another two lovely French children’s films are ‘The Fox and the Child’, set in the beautiful countryside of the Jura Mountains in Eastern France (see trailer at : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nyqq87u4GPw ) and the magical ‘La Clé des Champs’ with a wonderful soundtrack by Bruno Coulais. You can see the film trailer at : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TbU-X_DCCoQ   and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B1TlwvS1mPc . The film makers Claude Nuridsany and Marie Perennou also made ‘Genesis’ and ‘Microcosmos’.

Some of my favourite artists are also French. I love the light-filled joyous art work of the Impressionists, which we viewed at Jeu de Paume in Paris, on my first overseas trip. We loved every single painting! We visited Monet’s home in Giverny on our second trip to France ten years later – such a spectacular garden ! We loved all the roses and of course, the famous Waterlily pond. See : http://giverny.org/gardens/fcm/visitgb.htmBlogFranceLoveAffair20%ReszdIMG_0643BlogFranceLoveAffair20%ReszdIMG_0642BlogFranceLoveAffair20%ReszdIMG_0645BlogFranceLoveAffair20%ReszdP1190241BlogFranceLoveAffair30%ReszdIMG_0644I also adore Renoir’s sumptuous women and would love to visit his home and garden, ‘Les Collettes’,  at Cagnes-sur-Mer in the South-East France one day. See : http://www.amb-cotedazur.com/renoir-museum-cagnes-sur-mer/. The recent film about his later years, titled ‘Renoir’ is another beautiful romantic movie, set in the Domaine du Rayol. The trailer can be viewed here : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ZTiQ_quEPA.

There are some wonderful French gardens from artistic potagers to medieval herb and physic gardens and of course, roses!!! The French have a long history of rose breeding and appreciation.

Empress Josephine, the first wife of Napoleon I, adored roses. Between 1804-1814, she amassed the greatest and largest rose collection in the world at her Château de Malmaison. The collection was made up of about 250 species and varieties, including 167 Gallicas, 27 Centifolias, 22 Chinas, 9 Damasks, 8 Albas, 4 Spinosissimas, 3 Luteas, R. moschata, R. carolina, and R. setigera. During the Napoleonic wars, the French Navy was enlisted to confiscate any plants or rose seeds from ships at sea and her large purchases from the British nursery, Kennedy and Lee, were permitted safe passage through the naval blockade. She commissioned artist Pierre-Joseph Redouté to paint all the roses in her collection  and he produced 3 beautiful volumes with 170 watercolour plates, ‘Les Roses’, which were published from 1817-1824. Josephine’s contribution to rose history is remembered in the names of 2 Old Roses : a Gallica called ‘Empress Josephine’ and one of my favourite Bourbons, ‘Souvenir de la Malmaison’ (2nd photo). The 1st photo is a Moss rose called Chapeau de Napoléon, with its buds shaped like his three cornered cockade hat.BlogFranceLoveAffair20%Reszd2014-11-22 14.26.37BlogFranceLoveAffair20%ReszdIMG_2508France has produced a number of very famous rose breeders and growers from Josephine’s gardener, André Dupont, to Jacques-Louis Descamet, who produced 200 new varieties of roses between 1804-1814; Jean-Pierre Vibert, the first French rose-breeder, who bought Descemet’s nursery in 1815 and produced more than 600 new varieties and Alexandre Hardy, who was the chief horticulturalist at Luxembourg Gardens in Paris from 1817 to 1859 and left more than 80 cultivars with China genes in them, including the Damask rose in the photo below named after his wife, Mme Hardy. Her blooms each have a beautiful green eye and smell superb.BlogFranceLoveAffair20%ReszdIMG_2506

There are some very famous rose breeding families in France :

  • Brothers Philippe and Louis Noisette  launched the Noisette rose group in Europe.
  • The Guillot family (with 6 generations involved)  are famous for producing the first Hybrid Tea, La France, in 1867.
  • The Pernet-Ducher  family produced the first yellow Hybrid Tea ‘Soleil d’Or’ in 1900 and also boast 6 generations of rose breeders.
  • The Delbard family has operated a rose nursery in Allier for over 75 years and
  • The Meilland Family are also very famous, especially with their breeding of the Hybrid Tea, ‘Peace’, released in 1945 . Its story is recounted in that delightfully charming book : ‘For Love of a Rose’ by Antonia Ridge. Peace is photographed below and also goes by the name of ‘Madame A. Meilland’ (the name of the breeder’s deceased mother), Gioia (Italy) and Gloria Dei (Germany).

BlogFranceLoveAffair30%ReszdIMG_2507Other well-known French rose breeders include :

  • Réné Barbier, who developed the Wichuriana ramblers;
  • Gilbert Nabonnand, who bred a number of Chinas and Teas;
  • Jules Gravereaux, who developed Roseraie de l’Hay, the first garden devoted exclusively to roses;
  • Jean Deprez, who bred one of my favourite Noisettes: Deprez à Fleurs Jaunes, featured on the top of my blog page and in the photo below               and
  • André Eve, a passionate collector and disseminator of Old Roses.

BlogFranceLoveAffair30%ReszdIMG_2501If we are ever lucky enough to travel overseas and visit France again, I would dearly love to visit ‘La Bonne Maison’, Lyons,  the wonderful rose garden developed by Old Rose expert, Odile Masquelier. My daughter acted as proxy on her overseas trip a few years ago and returned with Odile’s book about the development of her garden, unfortunately written in French! I spent a lovely dreamy week translating her book and hope I did it justice!!! You can view her website here : http://www.labonnemaison.org/ . These are a few of my daughter’s photos in tulip time, unfortunately a little too early for the roses!BlogFranceLoveAffair20%ReszdP1190592BlogFranceLoveAffair20%ReszdP1190546BlogFranceLoveAffair20%ReszdP1190564BlogFranceLoveAffair20%ReszdP1190597

I would also love to visit Eléonore Cruse’s amazing rose garden ‘Roseraie de Berty‘ at Largentière, Ardeche. See http://www.roseraie-de-berty.com/  and for an English version : http://roseraiedeberty.free.fr/english_catalogues.html .

As well as Roseraie de l’Hay, les Jardins de l’Imaginaire, Les Chemins de la Rose in Doué la Fontaine, Château de Miromesnil, Coulommiers Medieval Garden, Jardin aux Plantes parfumées la Bouichère, Terre Vivante and Jardin le Vasterival to name a few….

For a taster, see : http://www.french-gardens.com/gardens/gardenstovisit.php

and  http://www.gardenvisit.com/gardens/in/france .

The French Motorways are lined with huge hedges of Rugosa roses : Rugosa Alba (white) and Scabrosa (purple).

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Also read any books by Louisa Jones : Gardens of the French Riviera 1992; The Art of French Vegetable Gardening 1995; Kitchen Gardens of France 1999; Provence : A Country Almanac 1999; The French Country Garden : Where the Past Flourishes in the Present 2000; Gardens in Provence 2001;  and The French Country Garden 2006    or

Mirabel Osler : The Secret Gardens of France 1993; A Spoon with Every Course: In Search of the Legendary Food of France 1996; and The Elusive Truffle: Travels in Search of the Legendary Food of France 2000)

One garden we did visit on our second trip was Château de Villandry, an amazing potager with wonderful abstract patterns created by clipped box hedges . See : http://www.chateauvillandry.fr/en/ .BlogFranceLoveAffair20%ReszdIMG_0632BlogFranceLoveAffair20%ReszdIMG_0631BlogFranceLoveAffair30%ReszdIMG_0630BlogFranceLoveAffair20%ReszdIMG_0633We have so many wonderful memories of our two trips to France. Some of the highlights included :

My 35th birthday at a private château near Limoges;

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My infant daughter’s first totally independent hike for 11 km in the Pyrenees;BlogFranceLoveAffair30%Reszd2015-10-13 08.28.13BlogFranceLoveAffair30%Reszd2015-10-13 08.28.30The flamingoes in the Camargue;BlogFranceLoveAffair30%Reszd2015-10-13 08.19.40The wonderful artist villages like Saint-Cirq-Lapopie in the photos below;BlogFranceLoveAffair30%Reszd2015-10-13 08.59.42BlogFranceLoveAffair30%Reszd2015-10-13 08.59.23The 20,000 year old prehistoric cave art in the Dordogne. This photo is a bas relief of aurochs from Forneau du Diable, Bordeilles;BlogFranceLoveAffair30%Reszd2015-10-13 08.59.07The Cathar ruins : Roquefixade in the top photo; Montesegur in the 2nd photo.BlogFranceLoveAffair20%Reszd2015-10-13 08.29.04BlogFranceLoveAffair30%Reszd2015-10-13 08.18.36The Standing Stones of Carnac;BlogFranceLoveAffair30%Reszd2015-10-13 09.01.55BlogFranceLoveAffair30%Reszd2015-10-13 08.59.56And the beautiful countryside, wild flowers and poppies in wheat fields, rustic villages and the generosity of the French people, who love children and opened their homes and hearts to us!BlogFranceLoveAffair30%Reszd2015-10-13 08.26.55BlogFranceLoveAffair30%Reszd2015-10-13 08.28.50BlogFranceLoveAffair30%Reszd2015-10-13 08.25.26BlogFranceLoveAffair30%Reszd2015-10-13 08.25.35Mean time, we enjoy our little corner of France in our Candelo garden at ‘Maison Rose’ and enjoy the beautiful fragrant blooms of roses with French names : Mme Alfred Carrière (1st photo), Mme Isaac Péreire (2nd and 3rd photo), Lamarque (4th photo), Gloire de Dijon, Chapeau de Napoleon, Madame Louis Lévêque, Aimée Vibert, Mme Hardy, Mme Georges Bruant, Roseraie de l’Hay…!!!BlogFranceLoveAffair20%ReszdIMG_2502BlogFranceLoveAffair20%ReszdIMG_2505BlogFranceLoveAffair30%ReszdIMG_2503BlogFranceLoveAffair20%ReszdIMG_2500And there is always the annual pilgrimage to Werribee Mansion, Melbourne (photos below), or St. John’s College, Sydney in January, to enjoy the wonderful music, French food and champagne and French fashions at ‘So Frenchy So Chic’ (http://www.sofrenchysochic.com.au/).Blog PubHxH&G20%Reszd2013-01-20 12.52.53BlogFranceLoveAffair20%Reszd2013-01-20 17.10.04BlogFranceLoveAffair20%Reszd2013-01-20 15.06.19BlogFranceLoveAffair20%Reszd2013-01-20 15.50.43

Or ‘Paris to Provence’ at Como House every November (http://www.paristoprovence.com.au/) . Both are wonderful days out and incredibly civilized!!!

BlogFranceLoveAffair20%Reszd2014-11-22 10.20.17BlogFranceLoveAffair20%Reszd2014-11-22 12.03.06BlogFranceLoveAffair20%Reszd2014-11-22 13.33.39BlogFranceLoveAffair20%Reszd2014-11-22 10.28.06I believe there is also a very active Alliance Francaise community in Canberra, our closest city (http://www.afcanberra.com.au/culture-and-events/events-to-experience-french-culture/), so we look forward to fuelling our passion further in the years to come! Vive la France!!!