The queen of flowers at the Old Rose Garden Museum
The Old Rose Garden Museum (in Italian, Museo Giardino della Rosa Antica) in Montagnana di Serramazzoni – some thirty kilometers from Modena – is entirely dedicated to the mystery and charm of what poet Sappho described as “the queen of flowers”, and 2nd-century writer Achilles Tatius called
the ornament of the world, the glory of plants, the eye of ﬂowers, the blush of the meadow.
So many authors in the history of literature have been inspired by this beautiful flower that the Garden Museum’s website has a dedicated section for poetry – alongside pages on history, artistic references, and in-depth information on how to grow, care for, and cut different rose varieties.
The website is a great virtual sneak peek for everything the Museum has to offer: itineraries exploring everything from the once forgotten species to the relationship between roses and the senses (“multi-sensorial herbarium”), as well as classes and events dedicated to specific topics such as garden planning or fighting diseases and parasites.
It is a testimony to the sweeping passion such a beautiful, yet common flower can evoke, in all its mysteriousness and simplicity.
Let us conclude with the brilliant verses by another great poet, Giorgio Caproni:
Throw away any works in verses or prose / nobody has been able to say / what is, in its essence, a rose.