Make sure you jot down this address if you enjoy leisurely strolls in magical settings.
La Bonne Maison is located in the town of La Mulatière. In 2010, it was awarded the title ‘Jardin Remarquable’ (Remarkable Garden). That says it all.
Succumb to the charm of this little hectare of walled green space (9500 m² to be precise), which boasts more than 850 varieties of antique and botanical roses! You will also see various tree and plant species, such as cedar, sophora, iris and peonies.
Flowers come into bloom from the beginning of April until the first frosts, so make the most of the fine weather to visit this little piece of paradise on the doorstep of Lyon. It’s now or never!
If you plan to visit with friends (hence as a group), we recommend making a reservation: you will be given a two-hour guided tour, given by a passionate English-speaking guide, followed by a drink on the terrace.
Odile Masquelier, owner of the garden ‘La Bonne Maison’
For 49 years, Odile Masquelier has tended one of the most beautiful gardens in the region, located in La Mulatière. Open to the general public, La Bonne Maison boasts 800 varieties of roses covering nearly a hectare. We visited this haven of peace in the company of the owner.
What is the story behind the garden La Bonne Maison?
As a child, I grew up with this garden. By chance, I stumbled upon it 20 years later, in 1966, and decided to breathe new life into it. We developed it for ten years and then, in 1975, while travelling in Scotland, I discovered some magnificent antique rose gardens. It was then that my passion for roses began. I decided to devote my garden to all of its varieties, and they have bloomed year after year. We became the ‘Association des Roses Anciennes de la Bonne Maison’ and opened our doors to the general public in 1987.
What is different about this garden?
Firstly, it has 800 rose varieties, some of which can only be found in two or three gardens in the world! This is why we receive so many foreign associations, from Japan and Australia in particular. Also, this is a very natural garden, different from rose nurseries: the climbing roses grow against trees and the rose bushes grow alongside other flower species.
Why is the rose such a special flower?
There are many varieties, but all have a bearing, appearance and fragrance that are elegant and unique. I use no weed-killer here. As I gather cuttings from all over the world, the garden offers a true olfactory journey: some varieties give off a fragrance of incense, while others smell of apple or orange blossom.
When is the best time to visit the garden La Bonne Maison?
The garden is beautiful in all seasons, as we grow many flower varieties, but the month of May is exceptional. All of the roses are in bloom and you can have a stroll or sit on the benches in the sun. Just ten minutes from Lyon city centre, this is a real haven of peace: time stands still and you can forget about everything else!
The best time for the roses is usually from 1 May to 1 June, and then after 15 August and in September.
Pets are not allowed.