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Visit to Rose Gardens in the Touraine 30th May to 2nd June, 2008
The rose ‘Pierre de Ronsard’, also known as ‘Eden Rose 88’, grows on the wall of the poet’s birthplace
In early June this year a group of around 30 members and friends went on a highly-successful three-day tour of the rose gardens of Touraine. From a base at Azay-le-Rideau, south-west of Tours in central France, we visited seven rose-rich gardens, each one distinctly different from the others in style and atmosphere. This area has strong associations with the famed French poet Pierre de Ronsard and we visited both his birthplace and the priory where he is buried, both of which have noteworthy rose collections. We also saw a château garden which is divided into separate “rooms”, each with a distinctive theme; a garden strongly reminiscent of that at Hex in Belgium, with which it has family ties; a garden in the English style, apt in a part of France which strongly resembles parts of England; an Italianate terraced garden, where we sampled the local wine; and finally a fairytale garden where the stories of Perrault are evoked among a large selection of roses old and new. Group members were expected to make their own way to Azay-le-Rideau but the tour cost included accommodation, all meals, coach hire and garden entry charges so there were no additional costs to worry about.
Click the thumbnails below to see larger versions of the gardens.