|La Bonne Maison|
June 18 - June 21, 2011
I departed Gainesville airport after a 2 hour delay and changed planes in Atlanta after a 7 hour delay! Of course the one thing I left my house without was a decent jacket so I literally paid for it by freezing in the Atlanta airport waiting for the plane after all the stores had closed and no chance for buying a jacket at the airport. After packing way too much I still forgot the most important item I would need (a jacket), as Europe in the summer is still pretty chilly. I left on July 17th and landed in Paris on the 18th, switched planes and finally landed in Lyon, France. The French airlines hand out free little bottles of wine like Americans hand out sodas.
Thus began my adventure riding trains as I had to walk a long way to the Train depot connected to the airport and made my way onto my first train which would be a 45 minute ride to downtown Lyon where the Hotel was located. I am sure I drove the train ticket man a bit crazy as I kept asking "Do I get off here?" Because of all the plane delays I ended up walking to the Hotel at night (had planned for this to be in the daytime) and fortunately it wasn't too far of a walk.
|Reve d'un soir|
|Fabian Ducher in his rose field|
|Florence Ducher and me|
|Fabian's New roses|
These roses are all budded on root stock and it takes 2 years for a rose to reach market. One year for the root stock to grow and another year after budding for the rose to reach the right size.
I did not see ANY roses grown on their own roots in France, Germany, Switzerland or England. It is just not done, BUT! they always bury the rootstock so in most cases after a few years the rose has actually been able to grow it's own roots enabling it to have a longer lifespan as well as survive the winters. They also use rootstocks that produce little or no suckers.
|Mme. Caroline Testout|
|Our Cemetary Guide|
|Tomb of Joseph Pernet-Ducher|
The next day we went to the all day Conference where we heard from several speakers. Stephen Scaniello showed slides of the new Heritage Roses District of New York City, his rose garden project in Harlem. This was a wonderful story which was heartwarming and inspirational. Mike Shupe talked about his walk down the road of Old Roses describing some of the special stories about the Ultimate Garden Plant.. Gregg Lowery spoke in perfect fluent French, also describing mystery roses around the world and the importance of preserving the roses of history. There was an auction of rare rose books and some rare roses. WE had a great lunch at the Chateau and I enjoyed sitting at the table with the great great grandaughter of Nabonnand and my new friend Behcet who would drive me to his home in Switzerland the next day to get me closer to my destination in Germany.
The next day we all rode on a bus to partake in a huge ceremony the city of Lyon was having- it was a dedication of a gigantic mural painted on the wall of a highrise to commemorate the master rose breeders of Lyon. The pictures here show the extraordinary detail of the bottom of the wall. There was a lady also recognized for 5 years as head of their local Rose Society and Fabian Ducher brought a big basket of roses which was a new rose he had named for her They broke a bottle of champayne (tradition) over the roses. There was alot of speech making.
That night we all had dinner at a fancy restaurant where I had the pleasure of meeting and eating with Becky and John Hook from southern France. I had ordered roses from their Roseraie in February so I was happy to finally meet them.
|La Bonne Maison|
|Tree at Odile's garden|
|Odile Masquelier's La Bonne Maison|
|A sofa bush|
The next morning Behcet and I began our journey by first visiting the famous rose garden of Madame Odile Masquelier in Lyon, La Bonne Maison, where she has lived for 50 years. I had read about her garden for years and finally we went to see it. Odile was there and showed us around after we had been all over. Unfortunately my camera batteries went out just when I was taking her picture. I did manage to take some pictures of the garden, although most of the roses had already flushed. But what a collection!
I am just getting the hang of this Blog and it is not easy placing the pictures where I want them. There are more pics I want to show. My next writing will be my trip to Behcet's house by way of a cool authentic medieval town never changed since 1050 in France we stopped at for lunch on our way to Switzerland. Stay tuned!