It is the middle of winter here in Las Vegas and I found myself looking at pictures from last summer in Paris. The famous Bagatelle rose garden was in full bloom and the ducks, geese, swans and peacocks were having children. It was a magical time in a fantasy world. The thoughts of it make me happy that I was there and sad that I am not there now. I have some pictures and I thought I would share them here. I was so inspired by the lily pond, near the house, that I painted the moment in an expressionist style. I included the picture to show the contrast between what the camera saw and what I saw that day. I love to paint as a hobby and I hope you like the painting.
There are several ponds in the Bagatelle, each with its own distinctive charm. The combination of the water lilies and the swans makes this one of the most distinctive views of the estate.
They have a nice collection of male and female peacocks at Bagatelle and in fact in the whole Bois de Bologne. It is a good thing they have such a large area for them to roam since they can get quite noisy in the early mornings. We had them when I was young at our house, and I remember climbing quite a few roofs to get them down and to stop their calls. The female peacocks are not as flashy but have their own charms.
Another popular pond is the waterfall pond inside the park. There is a little concession stand nearby and the birds congregate to be fed by the tourists. The setting is spectacular with the waterfall in the background and on this day, we were fortunate enough to see three newborn goslings accompanied by their mothers. All of the ducks and geese are used to people and will even eat out of your hand.
If you want to see the roses, you need to go mid to late summer. In the spring, seen above, the roses have just begun to recover from the winter. By July, the rose garden is filled with the perfume of roses and people admiring the views. The Concours International de Roses Nouvelles de Bagatelle is held in mid-June of each year in the rose trial grounds of the Château de Bagatelle in Paris’s 16th arrondissement. Established in 1907 by Jean-Claude Nicolas Forestier, the city’s Commissioner of Gardens, it was the first international competition to assess new roses and remains one of the most prestigious events in the commercial rose growers’ calendar. The first competition involved 148 new varieties presented by 27 French rose breeders and 31 growers from around the world.
The roses are the stars of this flower show, but off to the sides you can find hydrangeas and bottle brush, not the mention the famous magic flower of the Incas, Cantuta. I put one of my favorites last, Mon Jardin et Ma Maison Rose. It reminds me of the famous rose devoted to Josephine Bonaparte, Souvenir de la Malmaison rose. If you are visiting Paris in June, make an effort to visit Bagatelle. Surrounding the actual rose competition are guided tours of the roses and other events.
Société Français des Roses: http://societefrancaisedesroses.asso.fr/fr/actualites/evenements_salons_expositions.htm
Concours International de Roses Nouvelles de Bagatelle: http://www.perso-jardins-bagatelle.net/site_htm/htm/concours_roses.htm