I need some help, please!
The reason I'm asking is this ...
When I went to Ardingly a couple of months ago I bought a 72"x105" damask cloth with a name woven in the end. I assumed that the cloth (which has never been used/washed) was commissioned by or for someone of importance, but did nothing about it at the time. The name is Caroline Testout.
I caught a couple of minutes of Gardeners' World on television on Friday evening and they mentioned a rose named ... Mme Caroline Testout. Alarm bells went off in my head and I spent the next couple of hours trying to remember whether the cloth was in one of the antiques centres or in a box here at home or in the store. When I finally found it and opened it out it is amazing. Full of roses.
Mme Caroline Testout is the name of a rose bred in 1890. Today I received an email response to a query I sent to the owner of this site who directed me to this site which states that Mme Caroline Testout was a French fashion designer. I've Googled all there is to Google about the rose (shortly before WWI 10,000 bushes were planted along the streets of Portland, Oregon earning it the nickname "The City of Roses"; it is purported to be one of the finest hybrid tea roses ever produced and was bred by Pernet-Ducher), but Madame Testout herself is a problem!
This is where you, kind bloggers, come into your own. I need to know where/when/etc. As the rose was bred in 1890 presumably Caroline was a 19th Century designer. If any of you know, or can find any information about her I'd be so grateful. In view of the above, I'm guessing that the cloth was in fact made to celebrate the introduction of the rose rather than for Caroline herself, but who knows ...
I'd also love to hear from you if you live in Portland and have a Mme Caroline Testout in your yard!