Paris is a city for rose lovers in June

Celebrated rose tournament takes place in the grounds of the Château de Bagatelle every June

24 May 2017
By Samantha David

Rose-growers from around the world will compete in Paris in June at the Concours International de Roses Nouvelles de Bagatelle, held in the grounds of the Château de Bagatelle. Last year's winning rose was a stunning bunch of flowers created by Jérôme Rateau, head of varieties at André Eve.

The prestigious competition has been running since 1907 and the jury was led by the parfumeur Jean Guichard, who created La Nuit for Paco Rabanne, Obsession, Eden and Loulou for Cacharel, So Pretty for Cartier, and Parfum de Peau for Montana.

 A rose by any other name...

Newly bred roses are not given names until several years after they have been established. It takes time to grow the new plants, ready to put them on the market, and it is only at this stage that they are named. So the winning roses still have not been named.

Last year's prize was a fitting honour for André Eve, who died in August 2015, and is remembered not just for breeding stunning new roses but for sharing his knowledge - there is still a wealth of information and advice on the website www.roses-anciennes-eve.com. He was a passionate gardener and collector of roses, and one of the first to re-popularise old-fashioned heavily scented roses, as opposed to modern varieties which feature long straight stalks and are rarely scented.

But whatever breeds of roses you choose, to look their best they need some care and attention. They don't need full sunlight, but are unhappy in dark corners. They are hungry plants and enjoy nothing better than a bucketful of horse manure now and again. It's best to water them plentifully once or twice a week, letting them drain out between waterings, than to water a bit every day. Water at the base of the plant rather than sprinkling the leaves and blooms.

After heavy rains, problems can start. Excess water can wash nitrogen out of the soil making leaves turn yellow, and leaf spot can take hold. So spray to keep disease at bay. Don't forget to remove any leaves which are yellowing or affected with leaf spot (this is called grooming your roses). If blooms are all damaged or have been knocked off you can consider light pruning to encourage new growth and new flowering. Rigorous dead-heading can extend the flowering season.

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