Souvenir de Madame Leonie Viennot: A Rose by Any Other Name Wouldn’t Smell as Sweet

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Old fashioned rose Leonie Viennot

Souvenir de Madame Leonie Viennot, Tea Rose

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose By any other name would smell as sweet;”

Shakespeare’s Juliet had a point, but then again she never drew her nose to this heady petaled confection. Tea rose Souvenir de Madame Leonie Viennot could smell like fresh laundry and sport six petals, and I fear I would still swoon over the prospect of what a such a name could deliver.

Dreamy, fragrant, and wonderfully composed before the warm winds ruffle her petals.
Dreamy, fragrant, and wonderfully composed before the wind ruffles her petals.

The naming conventions of 1898 are a far cry from their present-day counterparts. Modern roses seem to bear names that possess all the poetry of brand names and talk-show hosts. Inspiration and bucolic conjurings are ill-suited to such names and Electron, Rosie O’Donnell, and Tequila Sunrise . So I leave you with a old garden rose that is delicious on all levels, fragrant, floriferous and unwilling to commit to any one single hue of pink, buff, shell or coral in its multi-layered palette. Madame Leonie Viennot’s husband (a rose breeder)  honored his wife and our senses with a perfumed and luscious souvenir.

Souvenir de Madame Leonie Viennot Rose

12 COMMENTS

  1. Rhubarb for Renae…I would cry, gleefully, at the thought of the Souvenir de Madame Leonie Viennot at my door! Even more than most days, I wish I lived closer my dear friend!
    xo

  2. Hi Gabi, perhaps it is a sport, as it is a more flamboyant in its color range. And of course I can’t remember where I got it. Yesterday, the deer reminded me that its colors are not the only delicious thing about it. 😉

  3. I grew Souvenir de Madame Leonie Viennot at my old house and she was gorgeous! Every bloom varied in combinations of pink & yellow. Leonie (as I called her) stood on the coner of a 4′ tall fence and naturally reclined about 10′ south & 10′ west flowering all along her length. My current house does not have as much sun. can she flower on four hours of sun? Can she grow free form or need a pillar,etc?

    YOu are right about the modern names. they are not as pretty except Melodie Parfumee. She is a grandiflora of superb frangrance and varies from magenta to mauve. One other problem we have in Atlanta is Japanese beetles. It is tedious to pick them off with a tweezer & drown them in soap water & sprays harm everyone (butterflies) indiscriminately. Any ideas?

  4. Hi D.J.
    My Leonie grows without support, but then again it just got a serious pruning from a hungry deer. Because it has so few thorns, I let it grow through shrubs and trees as supports or pillars. It’s a beautiful effect, unlike a thorny rose, I can move the canes around as I wish them to grow and prune accordingly.

    In contrast, I have an Albertine rose which is so thorny that after each pruning and weeding, I look as though I was place in a barrel with bobcats. It’s a rose that needs big support.

    As for Japanese beetles, I’m lucky to say they would drowned in my neck of the woods. We don’t have them here (thankfully), but I have a blog pal from Birmingham, Alabama who may have some insight. Check out Chris’s site: http://www.redneckrosarian.com/

    Also, here’s a great thread on organic methods for JB’s from GardenWeb (a great resource): http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/load/alabgard/msg061207082291.html

    Good Luck D.J., Here’s to smelling the roses in the coming year.

  5. I have this one in my old home, I now rent. I can’t wait to plant it in my new home. It is just the hardiest rose ever and delivers unbelievably huge, rainbow colored blooms. I love it.

  6. Tom,
    I’m also a plantaholic and proud of it. I have several David Austin roses growing on a 28′ X 6′ X 6′ cedar posts arbor. I love the roses. Thanks for sharing the Angle Garden rose site. My addiction includes iris, daylilies, peonies, hydrangeas, junipers, viburnums, azaleas, wildflowers native to Alabama (home) and lots of other perennials. It’s been a life long love of plants and digging in the dirt. It keeps me out of trouble! Ha!
    Janet

    • Hi Janet, I so understand, as I am swimming in potted plants that need to get into the ground before winter. I once tried a rule that I couldn’t buy another plant until all of my plants at home were planted in the ground. Well, that lasted about four days…
      Happy Gardening and thanks for checking in! Tom

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