Warsaw Stories and Tips

Too late for the Roses

Wilanow Palace Photo, Warsaw, Poland

I visited the Rose Garden at Wilanow Palace two weeks ago now, perhaps not the best time to visit such a garden as it was late in the year and most of the blooms had died off. Some pale pink roses were still flowering and from the terrace where I first stood the garden looked enchanting with its statues and bird fountains.

I sat on the wall on the terrace because my hands were freezing and I was struggling to take photos. My bag was cluttered as usual and I was unable to find my gloves so I tipped the bag onto the wall and sorted it out. I found my bright orange gloves, put them on and at once felt a relef from the cold.Next to the terrace I noticed an iron pergola, it was in a sorry state, no flowers or vines were climbing over the frame, I assumed they had either died off or been cut right back.This was a shame as I am sure the sight of pretty blooms covering the pergola is very attractive.

As I walked slowly through the rose garden I could see its formation, a large garden containing several smaller ones filled with various species of border roses. It is situated against the wall of the south wing of the palace and was designed by Bolesław Paweł Podczaszyński. The design is based on the Italian Renaissance giardino secret, somewhere to retreat to when in need of peace and quiet. The shape of the garden is rectangular and has been planted in a formal way with intersecting paths that run in a diagonal way. Each smaller garden within the large garden is surrounded by a boxed hedge that has been immaculately trimmed.

From the south I noticed that the garden is fenced off with a medium sized stone wall. There are several stone pillars interconnected with the wall to hold flower vases which look like old fashioned urns. There were no flowers placed inside the vases. Two lions sit guarding the entrance to the terrace where the pergola is and two dogs next to the side entrance. The centrepiece of the garden is an allegorical figure mounted on a circular plinth; the character has wings and is holding a laurel wreath. There is also a fountain with a sculpture of a naked child holding a cormorant. The bird is actually bigger than the child and fatter. The water had been drained from the fountain ready for the winter. All fountains in Warsaw parks and public places are generally drained in the autumn.

In the summer months classical concerts are held in the rose garden, a beautiful setting amongst the sweet smelling blooms with a distant view of the English- Chinese Garden and Mount of Bacchus.

To visit the Rose Garden there is an admission of 5 zloty (£1). Tickets can be bought from machines situated at the garden entrance. You do have to show your ticket to an attendant before entering the garden. This admission is incredibly cheap as it covers the entire garden and a walk around the lake.I enjoyed my time spent in the Rose Garden and will visit again in June or July when the roses are in full bloom.

Open to the public all year round, daily from 9.00 a.m. until dusk.

Address: Wilanów Palace and Park

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