When Valentino, a retired mechanic from a little Italian village offers thirty antique roses to his wife Eleonora to celebrate their thirty-year anniversary, he had not foreseen the effects of his gift. Today, his garden – that borders the highway, the railway and a football field – hosts more than two thousand rose bushes, each one different from the other. Eleonora, a lively housewife, knows the story behind every plant: “The rose is not just the symbol of love!” – she tells visitors who flock to see her garden like bees to a hive – “but of several kinds of love!” Eleven months of pruning among stingy thorns – Valentino on the high ladder, Eleonora on the lower bushes – for just one month of bliss: antique roses only bloom in May. In the biggest rose garden of Europe love is mostly an act of daily care.
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