Thursday, 1 May 2014

An echo of NZ in a French spring garden

One of my pleasures is to wander around a plant nursery, anywhere. In France the displays are always well done. They put a special effort into Easter, so I'd like to dedicate this 1st of May post to all you gardeners and lovers of beautiful growing things with a post of mostly pictures.

A surprising highlight for me recently was when I popped into the section for rose bushes. Most of the names I don't know - they're new or French. Sometimes I see a classic appear and a little forlorn and nostalgic sigh escapes for the memories of gardens I've had in the past and may never have again. The climbing, bush and floribunda roses all perfumed for a heady and sensual engagement with nature each time I stepped outside my door in summer.

So, I was startled to see a name on a rose that was quintessentially saying "Coucou, I'm from NZ." The rose was named Akaroa. Of course, this has special significance for me since my french ancestors helped establish the town of Akaroa, NZ in 1840. I stood there, bemused. JC said, "Well it's clearly a symbol, a message, I'll buy it." It's now happily planted in a pot at his home.

I went on the internet to discover some background to this rose (a floribunda). It doesn't seem to be available in New Zealand - I tried Bob Matthews website. Maybe this is an export only rose. If so, what a shame. It has a fresh and spicy perfume with shiny foliage and is disease resistant, growing up to 80cm high.

Ce remarquable rosier à fleurs groupées rose fuchsia, au somptueux feuillage brillant, est l'oeuvre de Bob Matthews, un nouvau créateur de rose Néo Zélandais. Son parfum est frais et épicé, diamètre fleurs 8 à 10 cm, nombre pétales 30 à 35.
Feuillage vert foncé brillant, résistance aux maladies excellente. Floraison en grappes de 5 à 7 fleurs.
Hauteur 70/80 cm.

Ce somptueux rosier au feuillage brillant est l’œuvre de Bob Matthews, un nouveau créateur de roses Néo-Zelandais. Afin de célébrer cette première Franco Néo-Zélandaise, il fallait un symbole: AKAROA est le nom d'un village Maori de la côte Est. On l'appelle aussi "Le Village de Français" car les baleiniers du XIX° siècle y avaient établi une colonie.

I'll leave you with images from one of my favourite garden centres, and the colours starting to burst forth from JC's garden.


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