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.|
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!)