Posted by: Debra Kolkka | September 8, 2016

Adopt a rose

For years we have driven past Rose Barni, beside the Autostrada in Pistoia. It looks very impressive from the highway and it was a natural choice when we were looking for Banksia roses for Casa Debbio.

While it is in a very obvious position it proved to be quite difficult to get to. We were over confident and failed to find an actual street address and drove in circles for quite some time before stumbling onto it by accident.

Rose Barni

Rose Barni

For future reference the address is Via del Casello, Pistoia. Rose Barni has been operating since 1882…five generations in the one family. They know about roses.

We entered the office and were shown to a waiting room until we could be seen by an attendant. It felt as though we were about to be interviewed to make sure we would be suitable parents to our new rose.

We watched while other expectant parents were called to the counter to view their newly wrapped roses.

Soon it was our turn. Questions were asked about the type of rose we were looking for, where it was to be planted, colour etc. We were assured that they had something for us and the attendant went off to prepare our roses.

We resumed our seat and waited breathlessly. 2 perfect Banksia rose plants arrived about 15 minutes later and were handed over with love.

They now grace the terrace in front of Casa Debbio and I will be back there soon to see how they have fared over summer. They have been left in the loving care of Filippo. Just before I left in June they had begun to flower. I hope they are enjoying their new home.

Casa Debbio

Buying a rose from Rose Barni is a wonderful experience…we will return.

Here are some of their gorgeous roses.

Rose Barni

Rose Barni



  1. Beautiful! Love the pictures, LOVE the story.

    • It was hilarious. Some people were buying just 1 rose, but the treatment was the same for everyone. It might be a bit frustrating if you were in a hurry.

  2. They obviously take their roses very seriously. I have seen that nursery on our way to Florence via Benabbio and Chiesina Uzzanese, but I have never been inside. Interesting place!

    • You should go just for the experience.

  3. I love Barni roses and wish they were more available in the US. I grow Occhi di Fata and just LOVE that rose. If I had space (and I could find them), I would grow several more. I can send you a picture or two of it if you wish. Congrats on your new rose babies. It is quite an addicting hobby!

    • I would love to see your rose. We have several at Casa Debbio and I can understand developing an addiction.

  4. I love roses of all shapes and sizes and have been growing them for many, many years. I am hoping they will thrive in Puglia when we move there shortly, but, I must admit, they grow really well here in the Veneto.

    • Our first roses took a couple of years to be at home, but most are thriving now. I hope the new ones do well.

  5. Simply gorgeous! I always wondered about all those nurseries you see when driving past Pistoia.

    • Many of them are wholesale nurseries I think. They fascinates me every time I drive past.

  6. What a wonderful way to get your roses. Who knew it could be an event? Enjoy them!

    • …quite an event. It was fun.

  7. Love, love the story……how lucky your two bushes are to have been adopted by you and be able to live a lifetime in your gardens at Casa Debbio

    • I hope they like living at Casa Debbio.

  8. How beautiful – the story and the roses. I can understand why they want to make sure such lovely things go to the right home – good for the roses and good for business.

    • We are used to going to local nurseries where we gather our plants ourselves and load them into the car without much intervention. This was an experience.

  9. Cheers to the floral addition to Casa Debbio.

    • Both of our Banksia roses seem to be thriving. I have decided there is another area in need of rosing.

  10. What a lovely way to adopt a rose or two! I imagine your garden at Casa Debbio will rival Monet’s Garden, perhaps? I’m amazed at the varieties of roses on sale! Am particularly fond of the old-fashioned tea roses because of their glorious scents. The David Austin roses are gorgeous, also the Damask roses, the Papa Meillands … aah, the list goes on… Enjoy nurturing and smelling the roses, Deb!

    • Our rose collection is growing. They seem to like Casa Debbio.

  11. Such beautiful roses Debra! It must smell wonderful there 🙂

    • We have over 200 lavender plants as well, so it certainly does smell heavenly.

  12. Your terrace is looking rather gorgeous.

    • We were very happy with the progress this year.

  13. I can imagine the perfumes are glorious….nothing like the smell of the old fashion roses.

    • I love to wander along the terraces when I get up and just take it all in.

  14. Lovely, lovely roses, Debra. Your experience made me smile, but it shows how serious this place is about its good reputation. 🙂

    • It was a fun experience. We will treasure our roses.

  15. […] The Banksia roses are thriving. We bought these several years ago from Rose Barni near Pistoia. It was quite an experience. Read about it…Adopt a rose […]

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