Spring is unfolding at a leisurely pace, and almost all the roses are covered with new glossy foliage that looks healthy and fresh. Because I’m at home in lockdown, I’m more aware of the steady renewal of the new season. Apart from the gorgeous lavender spires everywhere Spring appears slow due to the late cold frosty mornings this season, or maybe I’m just anxious to see the results of winter labour.
Buds are forming on some roses, and the first bloom to open is the Paul Bocuse rose. So, today I’ve decided to highlight roses in the garden that are named to honour well-known Chefs. Paul Bocuse, Pierre Gagnaire, Julia Child and Guy Savoy are the ones I have growing in my garden, although there are more.
The Paul Bocuse rose was bred by Dominique Massad -France in 1992 and introduced into France by Pierre Guillot as Paul Bocuse Shrub. It is part of the Generosa ® Collection a soft billowing style rose with a fruity fragrance. It starts each Spring with beautiful shaped large pink buds and has a fairly pale cream to apricot coloured bloom. Official registered name is MASpaujeu.
Paul Bocuse was a French Chef and restaurateur well known for introducing and championing a lighter style of cuisine in his restaurants in France. ‘Nouvelle cuisine’ a style of cooking with emphasis on lighter cooked vegetables, sparingly use of sauces and dressings or foods low in fats that is very artfully presented.
The French Delbard rose breeders, in 2001, created a collection of roses called ‘Great chefs’ and included Guy Savoy, Michel Bras, Pierre Gagnaire, Olivier Rollinger, and Dominique Loiseau. Unfortunately, in this range, only Guy Savoy and Pierre Gagnaire roses are available in Australia.
Guy Savoy is a striking unique rose that combines cerise and red blooms with splashes of white Described by Diana at Silkies Rose Farm as a ‘must have’ rose that is free flowing and very showy-highly recommended and one of her favourites. It is a graceful climbing rose ‘with up to 20 blooms per cluster with a long flowering season and good disease resistance. Bred by G Delbard in 1994 France with registration name DELstrimen.
Guy Savoy is named after another famous French chef who is well known for his high-quality Michelin starred restaurants in Paris and Las Vegas. He is an innovative French chef and winner of the Legion d’Honneur medal in 2000. His restaurant – Guy Savoy in Paris won 3 Michelin stars in 2002 and was ranked in the top 50 restaurants in the world.
Paul Gagnaire is one of my favourite roses and another climbing rose bred by G Delbard in France, 2002. It is a Floribunda with cream to pale pink single blooms with pink reverse. The official name is DELroli and it will grow to 350cm with glossy green foliage. It is hardy and a continuous bloomer. My Pierre Gagnaire rose is growing on a rust metal obelisk and is finally looking really healthy yet not in bloom as yet. It suffered in the drought but this year appears strong and has very glossy foliage which I always think is a good sign. The highly perfumed blooms of the Pierre Gagnaire rose come in trusses of 20 or more blooms and are a fantastic match for his visually imaginative cuisine.
Pierre Gagnaire is one of the world’s best chefs. He has earnt seven Michelin stars and has ten restaurants around the world, from Paris, to Tokyo, London, Seoul, Shanghai, Moscow, Las Vegas, Berlin, Bordeaux and more including one we managed to visit in Dubai called Choix. His restaurants are said to have beautiful decor, magnificent cooking and impeccable service and his dishes are full of great stories, every bite has a punch line and every plate has a happy ending.
Pierre Gagnaire states his mission statement as they wish to run a restaurant that is
We were fortunate enough to visit Choix restaurant in Dubai in 2019 for High Tea, pictured above. It was elegant, delicious and quite unique with scones displayed in a beautiful wooden box with quote on the lid by Virginia Wolf;
The Julia Child Rose is known in Australia as Soul Mate and in the UK as Absolutely Fabulous. It is a Floribunda rose with old fashioned blooms in lemony yellow to butter gold and an unusual licorice spice scent. The registered name is WEKvossutono, and as the name implies, it is a consistent bloomer that flowers repeatably with good disease resistance much like a Soulmate. It was bred by Tom Caruth in the USA in 2004 and introduced to Australia by Swanes Nurseries as Soul Mate.
Julia Child made cooking French food fun and approachable to Americans. She was a fearless passionate teacher who understood that mistakes were part of the process of cooking. Julia Child had a sincere passion for good food and the pleasures of cooking. She studied in France in the 1950s with chef and friend Simone Beck. Along with Louisette Bertolle, they created a cooking school called L’Ecole des Trois Gourmandes. Later in 1961, together they completed their groundbreaking cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking.
Many roses are named after famous people, but before the 1950s, roses were mainly named after royalty or relatives of rose breeders and their families. In the 1950s and 1960s, American rose growers decided that gardeners would rather have a “celebrity” rose in the backyard rather than an unknown relative of the grower.
Except for the addition of a few historical French roses, I would agree. I like to think that Princess de Monaco, Diana Princess of Wales, Princess Charlene de Monaco, Princess Alexandra of Kent and Queen Elizabeth the 11 are growing in the garden. And that Marilyn Monroe, Claude Monet, Henri Matisse, Paul Cezanne, Alfred Sisley, Auguste Luise, Gertrude Jekyll, Graham Thomas, Abraham Darby, Camille Pissarro, Dame Elizabeth Murdoch, Sally Holmes, Charles De Gaulle, Karen Blixen, Peter Frankenfeld, Papa Meilland, Christian Dior and Cassanova are happy in my garden too. Not forgetting the chefs, Pierre Gagnaire, Guy Savoy, Paul Bocuse and Julia Child- and what an eclectic mix it is.
There are many more roses named to honour famous people but they are either unavailable in Australia or I am not growing them, for example, Roald Dahl, Betty Cuthbert, Barbara Streisand, Audrey Hepburn, Heidi Klum, Dame Judi Dench, Dolly Parton, Princess Margaret, Julie Garland, Julie Andrews, Laura Ashley, Liv Tyler or Ingrid Bergman to name just a few.
Title Quote by Lao Tsu
Header Image Joseph’s Coat Rose Bloom Spring 2021
All Content Di Baker 2021
Images by Di Baker or as cited.