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Collection of Bourbon roses in the garden at the Franciscan monastery on Kostanjevica above Nova Gorica

was created in 2003. At that point Franciscans decided to turn the former vegetable garden to a park. Edi Prošt, vice-president of Slovenian Rose Society at that time, suggested to p. Mario, the monastery guardian, to turn it to a garden, which would correspond the family vault of the last French king of Bourbon dynasty, which was placed to the monastery.

In this was historical Bourbon roses got almost ideal place to thrive and flower. Mr. Prošt made the planting plan towards which visitors can directly approach every single rose in the collection. The garden is placed to the monastery patio, enclosed by buildings from the three sides and opened directly to the southern sun on the fourth side. The microclimate is ideal for roses. It is one of the most favourable sites for roses in this part of Mediterranean.

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First thirty cultivars of Bourbon roses were planted on Kostanjevica in autumn 2003. Twenty more cultivars were added till the next spring. The collection was completed two years later with Bourbon roses from Dr. Fineschi rose garden in Cavriglia, Italy.

Today, more than fifty cultivars thrive on Kostanjevica and that makes the rose garden one of the most complete publicly open collections of Bourbon roses in Europe. Municipality of Nova Gorica financial supports the maintenance of the garden, but the work is mainly done voluntarily by members or Society of Gorica’s rose friends. Crucial is also the care and help of Franciscan community in the monastery.

Edi Prošt is the expert in charge of the rose garden on Kostanjevica. His motto: »Roses show by themselves the way they want to grow«. Following this principle the members of the regional rose society don’t restrict roses in their growth, they only guide it. Roses are grateful and reward the gardeners and teh public with thousands of wonderful and fragrant blossoms.

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Beside being a collection the rose garden is also a place of inspiration. Over the recent years it has also being used as an aromatherapy venue. The cultivars that boast the strongest and the most pleasant scent are MMe Isaac Pereire, Louise Odier, La Reine Victoria, Blairii No.2 and. Coupe de Hebe.

In May, when the rose garden is in full flower, it is well visitied by people from all parts of Slovenia. Bourbon roses at Kostanjevica Monastery became known aslo in neighbouring parts of Italiy. Many poeple came to visit it also from other parts from Europe. Nova Gorica is on the way from Venice (100 km) to Vienna (500 km).

Written by Edi Prošt