La Roseraie de l'Haÿ

Jules Gravereaux who was born in 1841, owned the famous French department store 'Bon Marché' but became far more famous for his love of roses. In the years between his retirement in 1899 and his death in 1916 Jules Gravereaux created a rose garden on his estate in the village of L'Hay in the outskirts of Paris to contain his vaste collection of roses. The village was later re-named L'Hay les Rosesand the garden which still exists and is best known as La Roseraie de l'Hay. The Roseraie, which is at the side of a large municipal park, is now in the ownership of Val-de-Marne Municipality and is accordingly sometimes referred to as La Roseraie du Val-de-Marne.

La Roseraie de l'Hay exists today much as it did one hundred years ago and contains a vast collection of old roses. It is easily reached by public transport from the centre of Paris. Take the Metro to Pont d'Italie and then Bus 186 from the top of the exit steps. The entrance fee of €6 gives access to the tranquility of the garden and to the small, but interesting rose museum containing an exhibiton of the rose garden during the life of Jules Gravereaux. Sitting in the sun outside the cafe can be most relaxing!

The rose garden itself is a living museum containing more than 3,000 species and cultivars and is divided into thirteen collections :

  The French Rose Garden This is the large formal rose garden around an ornamental pool. It is laid out in formal style, with a large trellis 'wall' and gazebo.
  The Avenue of Historical Roses This contains a collection of roses which feature in the history and development of the Rose.
  The Avenue of Botanical Roses Wild species roses
  The Avenue of Hedgerow Roses Rosa rugosa cultivars
  The Avenue of Burnet Roses Burnet Roses
  The Garden of Gallicae Roses A collection of the only roses which were known in Europe before the Eighteenth Century.
  The Avenue of Malmaison Roses A collection of the roses which is identical to that of Josephine, wife of Napoleon, in the early nineteenth century.
  The Oriental Rose Garden A collection of roses originating from the Far East countries of Japan, China, and India.
  The Ancient Horticultural Rose Garden A collection of 'ancient' roses rasised between 1850 and 1950, from crosses between Gallicae and Oriental roses.
  The Modern Foreign Rose Garden A collection of modern rose cultivars from countries such as the UK, USA, and Germany.
  The Modern French Rose Garden A collection of cultivars raised in France
  The Avenue of Tea Roses A collection of Tea Roses from the nineteenth century
  Madame Gravereaux's Rose Garden A collection of Modern roses grouped by colour.

It was the collection within the "Ancient Horticultural Rose Garden" that took us to Roseraie de l'Hay for it contains the largest collection of Rambler roses of Rosa witchuriana breeding, including all known roses raised by Barbier et Cie of Orleans. Unfortunately most of the roses in this collection are no longer grown and are virtually unobtainable. Because of the importance of the 'Barbier Roses' in the development of the modern rose it is given pride of place in 'The French Rose Garden' and the massive trellis wall and gazebo is covered with but one rose cultivar, this being Leontine Gervais raised by Barbier et Cie in 1904.

Just a few of these 'Ancient' Roses . . . . . . .

'Casimir Moulle' 'Paul Noel'
'Mermaid' 'Mignon'
'Minnehaha' 'New Dawn'
'Orange King'  
'Dorothy Perkins' 'Souvenir d'Adolphe Turc'

Top of page

Return to Luciae Group Main Page