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).

Rosa glauca or r. rubrifolia has beautiful dark green/greyish foliage and sets big red hips in fall

Rosa glauca or r. rubrifolia has beautiful dark green/greyish foliage and sets big red hips in fall

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.

One of the several HT rose beds (I know: shocking colours!)

One of the several HT rose beds (I know: shocking colours!)

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.

A cetonia raping a rose

A cetonia raping a rose

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.

Rosa York and Lancaster, the famous Tudor rose, a delicate damask rose

Rosa York and Lancaster, the famous Tudor rose, a delicate damask rose

Francis E. Lester an amazing rambler, hybr. Musk

Francis E. Lester an amazing rambler, hybr. Musk

Again Francis E. Lester, I just love this overwhelming rose

Again Francis E. Lester, I just love this overwhelming rose

Pissed off cat on a vintage bench

Pissed off cat on a vintage bench

R. centifolia Bullata, a cabbage rose, very bold ham-like petals and good fragrance

R. centifolia Bullata, a cabbage rose, very bold ham-like petals and good fragrance

R. Bernard, an hybr. Portland, I love this kind of roses and it repeats flowering.

R. Bernard, an hybr. Portland, I love this kind of roses and it repeats flowering.

The venue is scattered with statues of ninfa and putto

The venue is scattered with statues of ninfa and putto

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.

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15 thoughts on “A visit to Roseto Carla Fineschi

    • Yes Donna, my pictures doesn’t make it justice, the venue is really fantastic and you have to see it. You better rent a car because the place is in the middle of nowhere. If you happen to come over to Venice let me know, I’ll prepare coffee.

  1. This was a fun and funny post Alberto! I do think you have falsely accused that bug, and your angle on the statuary photo was….unique. You are so right, we must safeguard our psychic selves, but I don’t think dogs and peacocks are very good together. I used to know people who had peacocks and they said the birds scream, a lot too, and I probably don’t need any more screaming in my garden… I do love that Francis E Lester rose– all those soft shades of pink. But mostly I love your “stop censorship” banner. I found the link text but I wonder how you positioned it so– excellent.

    • Linnie, you have to know that the bug had a regular legal action, later, and it has been accused. They had proof, you know, and a grass grassed on him. (this is Brit)
      About the statue… well I am short, you know that.
      Francis E. Lester is a lovely monster, reeeeaaaally overwhelming.
      The Stop Censorship ribbon will stay there until 24th january, wordpress users can activate it from Dashboard – Settings – Protest SOPA/PIPA, you can entirely black out your blog content too (which could be a relief for some people…).

  2. Hi Alberto,

    I love looking back at old photos, but also hate it because I always find loads of beautiful photos that I’ve forgotten to post and know that I’ll never get the chance to post them on the blog! 😀 haha.

    Beautiful photos, I love all those roses and can imagine it must be amazing to see so many all together.

    • Dear Liz, the photos have been taken 2 years b.N. (before Nikon) and I was so excited that most of that roll is blurred, so don’t lie to me, the pictures sucks but I wanted to post something about that trip because the place worths a visit.
      Thank you for your support! 🙂

  3. Thank you for sharing your trip with us, you must have been so happy surrounded by all those roses, nice to see my favourite Rosa glauca there. Your photos must have brought back so many happy memories!

  4. Wow…that’s like something out of a dream! I LOVE those old-fashioned roses, especially the singles. Francis E. Lester looks amazing…I can just imagine it covering a rustic cottage in the country. Rosa glauca is one of the plants that I’ve wanted for years…but I just don’t have room to do it justice. Every time I see one, I’m instantly jealous…every part of that plant is gorgeous!

    • Really? well, I have rosa glauca in the grass garden, planted in 2011 I hope it will sets some flowers this year. I will post every single petals of my beautiful rosa glauca, just as revenge of your amazing agastaches… You’ll see…

      BTW I prefer single or few-petaled roses too, rolled ham ones bore me.

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