The Roseraie du Val-de-Marne, which has changed very little overall since its creation over a century ago, is, more than any other garden, a place where the regular work of human hands all through the year is expressed for three or four months in the summer when nature must blossom in all its glory.
The Roseraie’s vision, at the height of its flowering season, with its riot of colours, forms and structures, must not detract from the fact that the garden is composed, aside from the lawns which are there as a setting for the roses and the boxwood borders giving structure to the scene, of nothing but roses.
The show is thus limited to the roses’ lifetime, lasting all but a summer. And there is something in the upkeep of this garden that reflects at once a rite and a performance. Seven gardeners and one supervisor work here.
Whatever the climatic conditions of winter, there is always one rose from the Pimpinellifoliae species, Xanthina, that opens its simple, yellow flowers for just a few days around mid April.
The first team of gardeners at the Roseraie.
A gardener’s work must without fail follow the perpetual rhythm of the plants and sudden weather changes that often disrupt work plans, and maintain the two main working objectives at the Roseraie :
The annual rhythm of the plants influences the work type and schedule to be carried out all through the year.