About this text


The roses
1. Gros Choux d'Hollande
2. Milkmaid
3. Jeanne D'Arc
4. Rubens
5. Slater's Crimson China
6. D'Aguesseau
7. Niphetos
8. Desprez à Fleur Jaune
9. Mme Alfred Carrière
10. Noëlla Nabonnand
11. Parkzierde
12. Bullata
13. Reine des Violettes
14. Solfaterre
15. Meg Merrilies
16. Reine des Iles Bourbon
17. Fortuniana
18. Sombreuil
19. Molly Sharman-Crawford
20. Gruss an Teplitz
21. Maman Cochet
22. Souvenir de la Malmaison
23. Fantin-Latour
24. Waldfee
25. Harison's Yellow


Reine des Violettes

She dreamed of roses; every night the same dream. In it, a crow flew up to her bearing a single rose, every night a different color: reds, yellows, whites, pinks. And every night, as she took the rose, the crow would fly off, and she instantly awoke. Every morning, she found the rose of her dream on the pillow next to her.

This routine began to cause her to become agitated, for she wanted the dream to continue, to follow the crow and see where he went. One night, he brought her a rose of the most exquisite deep violet color, unlike any the woman had seen before. This time, instead of taking the rose, she told the crow: "Show me where you fly every night; take me wherever it is that you go."

The crow flew off and the woman followed. They traveled a long distance, at last arriving at a very large lake with a tiny island in the center of it. The only thing on this island was a walled enclosure with a single gate. The crow pointed out a small boat nearby, and the woman rowed in it to the island. When she reached the farther shore, the crow flew over the wall and out of sight. The latch to the gate opened easily under the woman's hand, and she opened it slowly and carefully.

Inside was a magnificent rose garden, with long winding walks, arbors, trellises, and pillars. The sound of water emerged from hidden pools and streams, and everywhere there was the scent of roses. In spite of the small size of the island, the garden was enormous; truly, the woman could not see the end of it in any direction.

She found the crow perched on an arbor, still holding the violet rose. As she drew closer, she noticed another woman sitting on a bench in the cool fragrant shade of the arbor. She introduced herself as the Queen of the island, and bid the woman welcome. She explained that she had been here alone in her domain for many years. "Every so often a rose-dreamer such as yourself appears. I send my friend the crow to greet them with roses, and hope that one will follow him to me. Until today, no one has done so."

"You may stay here as long as you please, so long as you do not take any of the roses. As soon as you hold on to one, you will awaken. Please, stay awhile, and I will show you my garden."

And so the Queen escorted the woman through the garden, sharing her most favorite roses, including the huge bush from which the crow had taken the violet rose. They visited some of the secret places that every garden has. They talked of many things, and shared many stories; but mainly they floated in that ocean of fragrance, where they live to this day.

  • Reine Victoria
  • Rembrandt
  • Réné d'Anjou
  • Rêve d'Or
  • Reverend H. d'Ombrain
  • Robert le Diable
  • Robert Léopold
  • Roger Lambelin
  • Roi de Siam
  • Rosa Mundi
  • Rose d'Amour
  • Rose de Meaux