Friday, June 1, 2012

Fugitive Gardener at the Princess Grace Rose Garden

Even the entrance to the Princess Grace Rose Garden in Monaco was entrancing, which was part of the trouble.  

And once we got in, the sight of roses, roses, and more roses (over 4,000 of them, in fact!) were almost overwhelming.

All the watering is done by hand by two gardeners.
Beds of roses were carved out of immaculately kept swaths of grass, and several different types of structures supported climbing roses.

There were so many roses to see...

Top Row:  Sharifa Asma, Claude Monet
Middle Row:  Terracotta, Gold Glow, Abraham Darby
Bottom Row:  Château de Beauregard, Black Baccara
and I wanted to see and smell as many as I could - which was the other part of the trouble.

"I don't know if we should step on the grass," said Mr. Red House doubtfully, looking down at the immaculate turf.  "Nonsense!" I answered.  "How are we supposed to see the roses back here if we don't go on the grass?"

We were making our way along the grass pathway with me absorbed in all the roses, when Mr. Red House started tugging on my arm.  "We have to move," he said.

I thought he was talking about the ducks, which were blocking our path and starting to get territorial, so I started looking for ways around the ducks.

"No, we really have to move now!"  insisted Mr. Red House.  Then I noticed the reason for his nervousness - two burly policemen were running towards us, waving their arms and angrily yelling in French.

I decided not to take a picture of the angry policemen and risk enraging them further, so I shall show you this nice calming picture of the beautiful hedge instead.
Apparently we were so focused on the beautiful rose garden, that we neglected to see the sign at the entrance that listed the rules for the garden.  Rule #1 went something like 'it is forbidden to touch, sit upon, cut, or otherwise harm the roses or grass'.  Whoops.

Anyway, we jumped back on to the path, tried to look like the apologetic dumb tourists we were, and then attempted to find a tour group to hide ourselves in.  

Okay, I'll hide behind that statue of Princess Grace, and you hide behind that awesome old olive tree!  Where is there a good busload of tourists when you need one?!
Thankfully the police did not pursue us, and I am not blogging this from a jail cell in Monaco (though they are probably pretty nice if the rest of the country is any indication!)  And thankfully we got to finish out our tour of the garden!

The garden was truly amazing, and a fitting tribute to Princess Grace.  Most people know her as Grace Kelly, the actress, but she was also a plant enthusiast, with roses being her favorite flower.  She apparently started the Garden Club of Monaco and even wrote a book entitled My Book of Flowers.

One of my favorite roses in the garden - Rosa 'Astronomia'
The garden is built in Fontvieille, a section of Monaco that was reclaimed from the sea.  After Princess Grace's death in 1982, Prince Rainier III decided to make this section into a rose garden in her memory.  Many countries, rose collectors, and friends of the Princess donated prized varieties of roses in her honor, and by 1984 the rose garden was ready and open to the public. 

The Princess Grace Rose Garden is truly a garden worth seeing, especially if you are a rose enthusiast.

(Just don't step on the grass!)


  1. What a funny story! Can you imagine that ever happening in the states? Looks like a well cared for garden with lot of prize roses. Pity, you couldn't get close enough to smell all of them! You have my interest peaked and I want to read more about Grace Kelly and her passion for gardening.

  2. What a fabulous garden. Thank you so much for sharing it with us.

  3. What are you like...grass trespasser! x

  4. I love roses... but can't imagine not being able to sniff them! The Astromonia is so pretty!

  5. What a peculiar sign in such a pretty garden. It would be hard not to get up close to the flowers. Nice capture on the duck, you should have snapped the officers running toward you!

  6. Beautiful place! Aren't Roses inspiring?! I wish I could grow more, but I don't use systemics or insecticides. I have to enjoy them longingly in other people's gardens.

  7. wonderful rose garden! its also nice to know i'm not the only one who has policemen running and gesticulating while i look like the dumb tourist I am!

  8. So very! Thank you for sharing it. I like the duck sitting in the middle of the path, too.

  9. What a beautiful place! And such a fitting tribute to Princess Grace, who I always thought was so elegant. I have also strayed from the path in a public garden before in order to get a closer look, but fortunately it was a kind guide who asked me to move back. Glad you aren't posting this from a jail cell:)

  10. Oh my, how beautiful Indie. So many beautiful roses and such lovely beds of them. Thanks so much for sharing this wonderful garden.

  11. To make a decent plan it is imperative you comprehend that outline is tied in with overseeing space and individuals moving around it.Lara


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