The Roses of Chaalis …

The Rose Garden of Chaalis

June is the season for roses and time to visit the many rose gardens in France. One of the recently created is the rose garden of the royal Abbey of Chaalis once the Renaissance style garden of Ippolito II d’Este Cardinal of Ferrara son of Lucrezia Borgia with Alfonso I d’Este and who created the famous Villa d’Este in Tivoli. The rose garden is located just behind the Chapel of Saint Mary once part of the Abbey. It was not till 1902 when Nélie Jacquemart-André wife of the banker Édouard André, bought the property and decided to create a rose garden. She would kept the Renaissance style gate with the arms belonging to Cardinal d’Este as well as the 16th century walls surrounding the garden work of Sebastiano Serlio – another Italian Renaissance artist who came to France at the request of Francis I to work in Fontainebleau. The rose garden of Chaalis went through a complete restoration between 1997-2000. Walk through the old Renaissance gate and you would be greeted by beautiful alleys of multicoloured roses arranged geometrically around an elegant Renaissance pink marble urn – an exquisite symphony of flowers orchestrated by André Gimard landscape designer and gardener.

The Rose Garden of Chaalis

June is also the month of the annual Rose Plant show a meeting place for lovers of roses which takes place the second week of June. Visitors can delight to one of France most beautiful and various types of roses set around the ruins of the old Abbey and the lovely park surrounded by ponds and woodlands. Founded in the 11th century and home to the Cistercian order the old Abbey was once a flourishing religious centre in the Middle Ages. Centuries later, Ippolito II d’Este was appointed to oversee some of France’s Abbey including that of Chaalis. His presence in France brought about the new trends of the Italian Renaissance. By the 18th and 19th centuries the Abbey once again underwent reconstructions. In 1912 the Abbey of Chaalis was bequeathed to the Institut de France by Nélie Jacquemart-André. Today the main building houses part of the renowned collection of Jacquemart-André and the collection of Jean-Jacques Rousseau formerly belonged to the descendants of Marquis de Girardin.

The Rose Plant Show around the ruins of the Abbey of Chaalis and Saint Mary Chapel decorated by the Italian Renaissance artist Francesco Primaticcio

This year the Abbey of Chaalis celebrates the anniversary of Jean Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778) the 18th century philosopher, poet and composer who was highly criticized during his time but became a hero after his death. He travelled extensively and after the many voyages and living in exile Jean Jacques Rousseau finally came to live the last days of his life a the Château d’Ermenonville, just a few kilometres from the Abbey of Chaalis, formerly the residence of Marquis de Girardin. It is all about Jean Jacques Rousseau and roses … He was a lover of nature and an artist way ahead of his time … More than 120 horticulturists, gardeners, decorators, culinary art, perfume makers have gathered in this historic place to celebrate different activities associated with nature especially that of the Rose. A rose named Jean Jacques Rousseau – this lovely white flower a cross between rosa chinensis, moschata and noisette created by Jean Lin Lebrun is the star of this weekend of Roses and here he is proudly presenting his creation …

Jean Lin Lebrun the Horticulturist with his creation the rose Jean Jacques Rousseau

More roses …

The Roses of Chaalis

And more roses ..

The Roses of Chaalis

Have you ever thought of miniature roses ? Well, Olive had this wonderful idea of creating tiny roses which I thought were quite delightful. I had a great time looking around his stand until he approached me and spoke of his ventures in the world of little roses. Here he is, meet Olive Delanoy and his original creations …

It is a small world – miniature roses created by Olive Delanoy

What a joy to wander around Olive’s little world …

The mini world of Roses with Olive Delanoy

And there are more roses …

The roses of Chaalis

The white roses of Chaalis …

The roses of Chaalis

Set in a historic environment the annual Rose Plant Show is certainly a unique event which should not be missed when visiting France in June … so save the date and immerse yourself in the world of the fabulous roses …

The Rose Plant Show in Chaalis

Categories: Nature

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19 replies »

  1. This sounded like a lovely thing for us to do before we fly out of Paris next week, especially when I saw that the Abbey was only another hour further than CDG, but unfortunately I can’t see how to get there by public transport. What a shame.

    • Yes that’s not too convenient renting a car would be an option with more time to visit the surrounding countryside not to be missed also as beautiful 🙂

  2. Beautiful pictures of the roses and so much better because of the natural light – sadly we seem to have endless rain at the moment in England so photo opportunities are pretty few and far between!

    • Thank you … it just happen that it was a nice day but rained and stormed thus the nice raindrops on petals and fresh looking flowers 🙂

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