Hollyhocks are giving a wonderful display in our streets and front gardens this year.
On a recent trip to France in June (postings to follow soon on some amazing gardens visited) we stayed in a B&B in Chartres with Jean-Loup Cuisiniez (above) and his wife and met a kindred greener-upper-of the-city. Jean-Loup has been strategically sprinkling Hollyhock seeds around Chartres and has a fair few plants growing in a car park (above),
and along his street. He’s promised to send me pics when they’re all in flower. Jean-Loup is in discussions with the local council about making more paths public rights of way to create easier walking routes throughout Chartres and he also wants to adorn the streets near the Cathedral with roses.
I nodded sagely as he explained his aspsirations, but it wasn’t until we visited the Rose Festival in Chedigny, a village in the Loire near Loches, that I really understood what this could mean.
Every wall in the village was covered in these glorious climbers and ramblers,
The Rose Festival is the brainchild of Mayor Pierre Loualt who started the project in 1998, working with French rose specialist André Eve to plant over 700 roses in the village. The festival takes place over two days every year with specialist nurseries setting up stalls,
but you can happily wander through the village at other times to enjoy this marvellous rose extravaganza.
Both sights and scents were truly inspirational, and, although our North London manor doesn’t quite conjure up the bucolic bliss of the Loire, I’m wondering if we could start some similar rose planting in our streets in Finsbury Park?