Jules Gravereaux's desire was for the rose garden to be the world's finest. He made contact with botanical gardens, collectors and horticulturists all over the world, bringing together the largest possible number of varieties, studying them, comparing them and beautifying his garden with them. He had a passion for all kinds of roses, both cultivated and wild.
The only plants used to decorate the garden were roses. Until that time, roses had not been used as ornamental shrubs, only as borders for kitchen gardens. Only highly-prized
flowers were used to decorate houses.
Jules Gravereaux and the rose growers who assisted him were the first to see the possibilities of this shrub. They cultivated bush roses, they grafted roses onto tall eglantines to form small trees or elegant canopies, they trained climbing roses on trellises or posts, producing panoramas of coloured bouquets, they grew
rose trees in tubs, like orange trees, and grew them in water, to give but a few examples.
Today l'Haÿ still houses an invaluable collection of historic and rare roses used by rose scholars and breeders from all over the world. In addition, one cannot deny the garden's splendid beauty.
Photographs ©2002 Norman S. Track from his book Joséphine's Eden