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PLANTS OF DISTINCTION    A Violet For Summer by Jeff Parkes

A book was written by the son of a gardener to Alice de Rothschild who had a large garden here in Grasse towards the end of last century. It was here that Queen Victoria stayed for her frequent visits to the Riviera. The Chateau is still there, now a private hotel; the garden and some of the original planting is still there, now built over with private houses and gardens and the tea-house with coloured glazed roof is still there, untouched. Queen Victoria's visits to the Town centre was always a semi-state occasion. On one of these 'occasions' the gardener decided to  plant violets of a particularly good perfume and colour that he had himself obtained, all along her way into town and named his new cultivar "Victoria". Anyone coming to Grasse and looking for this garden, only has to take the Avenue Victoria towards Nice and turn up the Boulevard Alice de Rothschild and they will be driving up the 'new' road that cuts across the garden.

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