The "Rosengesellschaft Zug" has existed since 1994. On the Guggi, above Zug's Postplatz, the association maintains a rose garden with 200 examples. President Astrid Schwendimann tells more.
"You have the most beautiful view of Zug's old town and the lake from the rose garden," enthuses Astrid Schwendimann. She has been President of the Rosengesellschaft Zug since 2015. The club is based in the Guggi. The 170 members maintain a rose garden there with 200 examples.
Many people remember when the Swiss Society of the Friends of Roses (Schweizerische Gesellschaft der Rosenfreunde) held its conference in Zug in 1994, almost 30 years ago. The city was colourfully decorated with roses everywhere. That was the day on which many people thought: Why not start a Rosenfreunde (Friends of Roses) group in Zug? Astrid Schwendimann adds:
"Many people still rave to me today about how great it looked back then. Unfortunately, I didn't experience it personally."
The Rosenfreunde Group, which was founded at the time, became an independent association in 2014.
A cultural asset
From 1998, the association has been caring for the rose plants above the Postplatz, taking care in particular that the roses are treated biologically. As examples of biological agents, the President lists Effective Microorganisms (EM), algae mixture or fennel oil. "Working on the Guggi is an important, but not the main part of our club life," she says. Lectures, courses, social events, and travel at home and abroad are also included.
"It is important to us that the history of roses continues, because they are a cultural asset."
Roses with simple flowers are grown – as so-called ‘bee pastures’. "As the richly filled flowers of historic roses prevent the bees from penetrating the pollen vessels, we avoid using such varieties." The Zuger Werkhof (Public Services Department) always supports the association in the maintenance of the area, for which the members are very grateful.
The president of the Rosengesellschaft Zug, Astrid Schwendimann, gives an insight into the association.
This rose, a pharmacist's rose, which is mentioned by Pliny in 79 AD Photos: Mathias Blattmann, Zug
The entire management committee of the Rosengesellschaft Zug (from left): Marlen Tinner, Jeannette Simeon-Dubach, Astrid Schwendimann, Isabelle Reinhart, Susanne Gerber. Image: PD
From the 6 June 2006, the members of the Rosengesellschaft Zug have met annually at the ‹Sächsi› (the 6.6.) for an aperitif on the Guggi," says the President with a laugh. This get-together had to be cancelled in 2020 and 2021 due to corona and rainy weather. "So we’re very happy that we can hold the aperitif again after three years."
Together with four other rose societies, the Zug association is linked to the umbrella organisation ‘Rosengesellschaften Schweiz’. The presidents of the individual societies meet several times a year. "We work closely together," says Astrid Schwendimann. Either a joint trip or a symposium always takes place every two years,.
The worldwide rose society, to which Zug is also a member, has a further 38 member countries in addition to Switzerland. A meeting is held annually.
Young members welcome
But what is Astrid Schwendimann's personal connection to roses? She says:
"I like to have roses, and have them in my garden myself. The longer I deal with them, the more exciting I find it finding out more about them."
She would be very happy with some younger members, because she wants to pass on the enthusiasm. "Everyone is welcome. It doesn't take a garden or previous knowledge to take part in our courses and events." Inquiries are possible via the website or you can contact her directly.
For more information, see www.rosengesellschaft.ch.