“Rose Sale” – by Debbie Ambrous

May 26, 2018of the Burgundy, France Journal

Published normalement (normally) bi-weekly on Sunday

The morning light was streaming through our bedroom windows, enticing us to venture from our comfortable, cozy bed in our beautiful rental home in Arnay-le-Duc (click to see the gorgeous home).  Each night I would tell Jim that he adjusted the air conditioner perfectly, sharing an inside joke because there was no air conditioning, yet the temperature was always perfect inside the thick stone walls of the old maison.  I miss those blissful nights of sleep in cool comfort when I’m tossing and turning in the Alabama heat at night with air conditioning and a fan.  With a lush garden at our doorstep and creature comforts galore inside, we were totally spoiled! 

On the previous day, I saw an advertisement for a rose sale posted on a community bulletin board near our picnic area.  Jim was lingering by the stream at the table with the tasty lunch while I poked around with my camera, finding climbing roses, an abandoned gateway and a weathered door among other goodies.

I quickly took a photo of the rose sale announcement and mentally posted it on the schedule for May 26th.

Following my Google map directions I told Jim: “Turn right at Reclesne, and then right again at Tavernay and follow the D-978 to La Celle en Morvan.”  Driver Jim had a different suggestion: “Woman, you’re speaking in a foreign tongue.  Say something understandable like right at the big barn and left at the pile of manure on the road.”  He was telling the truth about the manure since there was a horse and wagon in the street at the grand rose sale.  After we turned through a narrow one-way entry and parked our car in a field, I rushed along the road dodging cow patties to the entry. 

Many more flowers and plants were on sale other than roses.  I was admiring large amaryllis bulbs, flowering in pots on shelves when a lady rushed out-of-breath and hurriedly said something in the foreign tongue of Jim’s earlier accusation.  I finally understood that we had to pay and get a ticket.  I didn’t expect to pay to see stuff for sale, but I was glad to help the garden group sponsoring the event at La Celle en Morvan.

With tickets in hand, we were chastened, but at least legitimate.  Back to the amaryllis bulbs, I couldn’t buy them or most of the other garden plants, but it was a joy to see the abundance for the French gardens.  I have enough amaryllis bulbs to have my own sale.  I thought about Beverly P., a sweet friend of mine that we tease about her slip of the tongue in another beautiful garden filled with bright, glorious amaryllis blooms.  She blurted out to the lady owner of the garden, “I adore your armadillos!”  She will never live down that wrong choice of words.  Now her story has traveled to France and on a blog for the world to see.  Sorry, Beverly!!  Blackberry plants, vegetables, succulents, irises and plants I didn’t recognize were there for sale.  I wished that I had a garden in France – not for the first time.  Charming garden ornaments were displayed, such as carved wooden piglets and bird feeders which would be beautiful whether birds flew into the garden, or not.



Around the corner, cotton candy billowed in pink for a sugar high, and rides for the children provided entertainment for the young crowd, while burgers and sausage were sizzling on the grill.  I made a mess of myself with the ketchup and mustard with a burger hot off the grill, a bit later in the day.

Inside the display building we found artwork with imaginative light fixtures by Anne-Marie Gagniere.  She showed me how they were made, but I still wouldn’t know where to start.  The colorful lights would brighten any room with a unique sense of style.A painting of two pears styled as cottages caught my eye and reminded me of cabins I saw on television recently that were styled like a top-hat and a dragon’s eye.  Some people are loaded with talent.   I’ll just hang around with my friend Beverly, accidentally saying the wrong names, often in a foreign tongue and dodging manure clods in the road. Now for the prize attraction, the roses were displayed in rows and wound through the garden and under trees like a colorful, dance troupe.  Nothing like this happens in my area with such a wealth of selections!

Enterprising young men with wheelbarrows were pushing the rose purchases to cars for the visitors, for a tip, of course.  The young fellows wore hats and rushed along with big smiles.  One of the boys had a mustache painted on his upper lip and a smiley sign on his wheelbarrow, a very enterprising entrepreneur!

Since we couldn’t load a wheelbarrow with purchases, we walked along the street to the parking lot following a grandmother with her grandchild.  Old brick at the edge of the narrow lane caught my attention, so we paused at the one-way entry for a few pictures.

A flashing light notified the drivers when they could go with cars in line on each side.  As we stood at the entry, a lady rolled down her window and asked about the parking, thinking we were staff members, someone in charge.  I answered in my foreign tongue and she laughed all the way to the other side of the field.

On our way home we saw a pasture with sheep grazing and sweet little lambs scampering around.  The mother seemed to be warning me to point my camera away from her babies.

Further along the road we saw colorful rhododendrons in bloom and USA sheets flapping on the clothesline.  I wonder what they thought about the woman who stopped to snap photos of their laundry.  I hope the tomatoes and marigolds were plentiful.Did you like the Rose and Garden Sale? Y’all come back next time to read about my emergency and see the ancient town of Arnay-le-Duc where we lived for a short time.  Thanks for coming around to visit.

You can read more about France, including more about Burgundy.  Just click over to purchase your copy of “A French Opportunity” in paperback or KindlePlease feel free to share this website with others.

All photography is the property of Debbie Ambrous

2 thoughts on ““Rose Sale” – by Debbie Ambrous

    • Dianna, I was amazed at the many different varieties of roses for sale. The only way I can find a good selection is ordering on-line and then you don’t know for certain what you are getting. Yes, we loved the house with a combination of antiques and modern furnishings. Thanks! All the best, Debbie

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