A visit to Roseto Carla Fineschi
I’ve been browsing my picture library lately, because I’d like to make a post with the most impressive moments of 2011 in my garden. When I start browsing pictures is like a trip on memories and I fall in a kind of trance while I stop blinking my eyes and the pictures on the screen blend with the pictures I have in my head. Anyway under the effect of this trance I found some pictures of some trips (real ones) we made before buying Cà Rossa and starting the renovation (after that our spare time became paint, build, move, demolish, rebuilt, dig, weed, water plants, make plans and above all pull the wallet out, so no more holidays or trips for us for a while).
During this dull period in the garden I decided to play for my aces in the hole and show you some pictures I’ve taken during past trips: the first one is a trip to middle Italy of which I have a very sweet memory and the place is very interesting to visit too (even though only virtually). In late spring 2009 we went in Arezzo to visit Roseto Carla Fineschi. This wide rose garden is in fact one of the biggest collections of roses in Europe with its more than 6,000 different varieties. It has been started in the late ’60s by prof. Gianfranco Fineschi, who called the garden after his wife Carla Fineschi. He was a professor at the Cattolica University in Rome, so his scientific mind lead him to collect and plant roses not like we do in a garden but following taxonomy rules. The beds and the garden sections host new hybrids, damascenas, gallicas, botanical roses and so on and every plant is kept tidy, spaced and aligned with the others.
The garden is literally in the middle of nowhere, up one of the many hills in Tuscany. We spent a couple of days before to visit a friend in Perugia, then we stopped in Arezzo on our way back. This Friend of ours knew personally one of Mr. Fineschi’s daughters who escorted us during the garden visit, unfortunately I don’t remember her name but she’s been very nice and talkative with us, telling us all the ins and outs and the making of the garden where she grew up. She also told us we would be welcome to come over in fall and take cuttings of whatever rose we’d like, before the end of season pruning. We never went back and I still regret it.
The day was incredibly hot for the season and the heat of that year, started earlier than normal, made all the botanical roses bloom before the time they’re suppose to be due, so I missed all that part: shame because I love botanical roses. We parked the car and we had the feeling of arriving on a old fashioned country farm in wonderland. There where peacocks everywhere: on the garden wooden signs, on the roofs, under the porch… These beautiful birds are considered to be safe guarding and protectors for the psychic self too, I should consider keeping a few of them… (but you too, Linnie!)
The presence of peacocks added an extra to the amazing atmosphere of the garden and the strong scent of the roses. The location is a rather typical italian farm with fields of olive trees, statues, they also had, in a little ‘plaza’ near the greenhouse a beautiful row of lemon trees in old terracotta pots surrounded by agaves in smaller pots. I later found other rows of those potted agaves, I think I should try to keep agave like that and then shelter it in winter, I love the patterns on the leaves.
The rose garden blended into a slope with a wild meadow and some pretty old olive trees and oaks.
The visit is very instructive, especially if you like roses and want to know more about them, a kind of living catalogue rather than a garden with flowers and perspectives.
Prof. Gianfranco Fineschi died in 2010 and now a foundation and his daughters (3?) are continuing his job in collecting rose plants all around the world. It is a beautiful and very interesting place to visit if you happen to make a trip to Tuscany. They have an official website too: www.rosetofineschi.it it is only in italian but you can use Google translator and find some other information. I hope you enjoy this virtual trip because I have other trips to rose Meccas to show you.