Everywhere we went on our trip - Paris, Normandy, the Cotswolds, Wales - we noticed the roses. They trailed on stone walls, scrambled up brick houses, and framed wooden shutters, showing off their colored ruffles.
The rose garden in the center of the mosaic above is the Queen's Garden at Sudeley Castle, named for the four queens of England who once walked there: Queen Katherine Parr, Queen Anne Boleyn, Lady Jane Grey, and Queen Elizabeth I. It's a beautiful place, with over 70 varieties of roses delicately scenting the air.
The castle has a very interesting display of textiles - including this finely worked canopy said to have been stitched by Anne Boleyn and her ladies-in-waiting for the christening of Anne's daughter, Elizabeth, later Queen Elizabeth I.
The notice under this piece of fine handwork said that Anne's symbol, the falcon, and her initials are found in the pattern. I stood there for a long, long time and discovered several falcons, but no initials. So I consulted the very friendly and informative guide who told me that she'd never found them either, but the piece had been sent to the Victoria and Albert Museum for analysis and verification, and they did find initials. Can you see the falcon in the detail above? The work is so very fine.
Another piece that interested me very much was a christening gown, said to have been worn by Elizabeth I. It was hard to photograph these pieces behind glass. The canopy has been verified by the V & A, but the gown doesn't have the same provenance, although it's very likely Elizabeth's gown. When a textile has remained in the same family for a long time, along with the stories, there is more likelihood of the story being true.
The floral bed hangings and coverlet in this photo were created for Marie Antoinette of France by Aubusson, and were purchased for Sudeley Castle in 1842.
I've always been fascinated by the historical and literary connections between France and England - they are so intricately woven together, as is much of Europe.
The manicured grounds of Sudeley Castle are set off from the pastureland and fields by this aged stone fence.
While we were on our trip, Deanna from Creekside Cottage emailed to tell me that the latest Victoria magazine featured the Cotswolds, Sudeley Castle, and Wales. I thought I had missed the issue, but it is the August publication and I purchased one this week. How fun to recognize the photos.
One last rose - this one from the graveyard in Auvers-sur-Oise where Vincent Van Gogh is buried.
Linking to Mosaic Monday, hosted by Maggie of Normandy Life.