The rose garden
On the occasion of the “700 years of the Swiss Confederation” celebrations, the Swiss Society of the Friends of the Rose gave the Swiss Paraplegic Centre a rose garden. Members of the society, which was founded in 1959, wanted to bring some joy to people with health disadvantages and financed the garden by the Swiss Paraplegic Centre with the title “Roses for your eyes and heart”. The Guido A. Zäch rose can also be admired there.
A Guido A. Zäch rose
It was in early summer 1995 when members of staff of the Swiss Paraplegic Centre were thinking about what they could get their boss for his 60th birthday. Gabriela Hammer, Head of the “Economics” department at the time, came up with the idea of a Guido A. Zäch rose and contacted recognised rose cultivator Richard Huber in Dottikon. “He smiled and told me that roses aren't released for trade until about ten years after they have been bred. After he also explained that only about three roses a year are nominated for a project of this kind, I soon realised that the birthday present wasn't going to work. Later I went back with Silvia Buscher, a Member of the Board of Trustees. We visited the rose cultures with more than 200,000 rose bushes. This made a profound impression on us and we learnt that this was a specialist area very similar to viticulture. It’s all about care, i.e. pruning, watering, winter care, and so on.”
At this point, Gabriela Hammer and Silvia Buscher decided to reserve a rose so that Guido Zäch would get a two-coloured rose for his 65th birthday. They found one that had already been cultivated and planted, which guaranteed that the project would be completed in time. “The lower part of the flower is yellow and the rest is red. Dark red. And it has an enchantingly delicate and fragrant smell. We wanted it to be something lasting, but also something very special”, adds Gabriela Hammer.
As 1 October is not in the rose season, Guido A. Zäch was only given a faded rose bush for his birthday, but he also received a massive bunch of “his” roses. Dyana Frei-Huber, the daughter of rose cultivator Richard Huber of Dottikon, presented the flowers. And it goes without saying that all the members of staff who had contributed financially gathered in the entrance hall to admire the gift.
Although the rose bush had already faded, it contained the power of spring, the urge to produce more shoots and thus more flowers. Markus Gabriel, the centre's gardener, later planted it in the ground outside. Since then, the splendid roses have bloomed year after year, providing great joy for patients, guests and members of staff.
In Dottikon, about five hundred new Guido A. Zäch roses are grafted from the original unique specimen each year. Dyana Frei-Huber explains: “With this quantity, you can assume a harvest of about ten per cent, which means there are about fifty new Guido A. Zäch rose bushes.” These are purchased by members of staff, friends, patients and their relatives, by rose lovers who are in the know, or are planted in pots on the balcony. Dyana Frei is delighted and proud to tell us that the Guido A. Zäch rose was awarded a gold medal at the “Rose Test Garden” in Rome in 2001.
Source: Guido A. Zäch – ohne Wenn und Aber (Guido A. Zäch – no ifs or buts), Trudi von Fellenberg, Huber publishing house, Frauenfeld (2005).