Souvenir du Docteur Jamain – a rose with perfect form, a rich deep colour and superb, intense fragrance… #roseheaven @PetershamN


There are Old Roses and there are Classic Old Roses and this beauty has to be in the top echelons of rose society. Rich deep colour, velvety blooms and a complex Old Rose fragrance combine to make this absolutely one of my favourites.

Treated as a tall, rather lanky shrub, or a short climber, Souvenir du Dr. Jamain is picky about growing conditions – good, fertile soil and a spot away from the heat of the afternoon sun (the flowers can burn, or scorch in strong sunshine) and there is a tendency towards powdery mildew – which I forgive completely and in any event, forewarned is forearmed. It is placed in the category of a climbing Hybrid Perpetual, and was introduced by Lacharme in 1865.

Many Hybrid Perpetuals are anything but regular repeat flowering customers and blackspot and powdery mildew stalk many of the lesser members of this group. But within the wide group, there are such luminaries as the hugely fragrant Mme Isaac Pereire (she married her Uncle, regular readers may remember!), Captain Hayward, Alfred Colombe, the even darker Empereur du Maroc, Snow Queen – Frau Karl Druschki, General Jacqueminot, the superb stripy Ferdinand Pichard, Hugh Dickson (one of my favourites at Mottisfont this last visit, likewise this next one), Mrs John Laing, and last but by no means least, the superlative Reine des Violettes.

Sadly history has not left a footnote as to who the good Dr Jamain was, to have earned this particular accolade but I am grateful that this rose has stood the test of time and after nearly 150 years, continues to delight the senses.

Petersham Nurseries, on the Banks of the Thames between Richmond and Ham House, has this rose in stock and an excellent collection of Old Roses, even this far into the rose season – and of course there will be a respectable representation throughout the year of English Roses from David Austin.

We’re about to put together our order for the Old Rose collection – seasoned favourites and rarities alike – for Spring 2015 – picking the best of the Gallicas and Albas, Bourbons and Hybrid Perpetuals, Portlands and China Roses, Centifolias and Damasks, Hybrid Musks and Moss Roses, Noisettes and Rugosas, shrubs, ramblers and climbers –  ensuring we continue to have absolutely the Best Classic Rose Collection at Petersham Nurseries….

If you have any requests, do let me know!

Looking back to February of this year, we began 2014 with quite a rich and varied selection –

Souvenir du Dr. Jamain, Rosa Mundi, Rosa foetida bicolor, Rosa moyesii Geranium & Sealing Wax, Rosa dupontii, Queen of Denmark, President du Seze, R. Officinalis, Maiden’s Blush, Jacques Cartier, Ispahan, Leda, Felicite Parmentier, D’Aggusseau, Charles de Mills, Celestial, Alba- Semi-plena, Souvenir de Jeanne Balandreau, Rosa viridiflora, Yvonne Rabier, Souvernir de la Malmaison, Sophia, Sophie’s Perpetual, Surrey, Souvenir de St. Anne’s, Scharlachglut, Roseriae de L’Hay, Reines des Violettes, Rhapsody in Blue, Rosa rugosa Alba, Quattre Saisons, Quattre Saisons Blanc Mousseux, Perle D’Or, Pearl Drift, Portland Rose, Princess Alexandra, Prosperity, Penelope, Nathalie Nypels, Nozomi, Mrs Edith Cavell, Mme Piere Oger, Madame Isaac Pereire, Moonlight, Mme Hardy, Louix XIV, Le Vesuve, Louise Odier, Lilliana, Lavender Lassie, Jacqueline du Pre, Honorine de Brabant, Gloria Mundi, Gloire Lyonnaise, Gruss an Teplitz, Gloire de France, Gloire des Mousseux, Fabvier, Ferdinand Pichard, The Fairy, Ellen Willmott, Eleanor, Dusky Maiden, Cecile Brunner, Chartreuse de Paris, Cornelia, Comtesse Cecile de Chabrillant, Constance Spry, Chloe, Blanc double de Coubert, Ballerina, Bengal Beauty, Bonica, Boule de Neige, Alfred Sisley, Alba Maxima, Agnes, Archduke Joseph, Arethusa…. and a couple of dozen David Austin too….

For climbing and rambling roses, the choice is no less wide –  Adelaide D’Orleans, Alberic Barbier, Altissimo, Antique, Belvedere, Blush Rambler, Blue Magente, Bobbie James, Cecile Brunner Clg, Crimson Glory Clg, Debutante, Felicite et Perpetue, Francis E Lester, Ghislaine des Feligonde, Gloire de Dijon, The Garland, Handel, Iceberg, Kew Rambler, Lady Waterlow, Lady Sylvia Clg, Lady Hillingdon, May Queen, Mrs Honey Dyson, Mme Sancy de Parabere, Mme Gregoire Staechelin, Mme Alfred Carriere, New Dawn, Ophelia, Papi Delbard, Penny Lane, Paul’s Lemon Pillar, Purity, Paul’s Perpetual White, Paul’s Himalayan Musk, Rosa wichuriana, Rambling Rector,Rose gentilcore, Rambling Rosie, Rosa longicuspis, Swan Lake, Seagul, Sander’s White, Souvenir de la Malmaison Clg, Veilchenblau, Wedding Day, Zephirine Drouhin – plus a number from David Austin too – The Generous Gardener, Claire Austin, The Albrighton Rambler, Falstaff, Wollerton Old Hall, St. Swithun, James Galway…


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