I suppose everyone has a picture in their mind when the word 'rose' is mentioned. For some, it is a frilly, multi-petaled bloom. For others, a simple, five-petaled flower. I don't know how we get these ideas in our minds. Perhaps it has to do with what we experienced when we are children.
For me, the word 'rose' brings to mind a soft flower with delicate shading, with petals more than five but not numerous (called semi-double in rose talk), and fragrant. Like the picture on the rose-scented powder my maternal grandmother used each evening after her bath.
As a child, no one I knew grew roses. So, the only rose I knew was the picture on that bath powder. And the fragrance that wafted from that small steamy room each evening when we would stay over for a visit.
For me, 'Souvenir de St. Anne' is the embodiment of that perfect rose in my mind.
And for many reasons other than that, Souvenir de St. Anne is one of the favorite roses in my garden. It blooms abundantly. It blooms all summer. And oh, my, is it fragrant! So much so, that the fragrance wafts throughout the entire garden.
Sometimes I'll be walking by, lost in thought, and realize I can smell something wonderful. Then I remember - it's Souvenir de St. Anne! It's so delightful to have that happen. Visitors walk by this rose on the way to my front door. A nice accident, since I certainly didn't know much about this rose when I planted it there. I hope they appreciate its scent, too.
Souvenir de St. Anne is a rose that was found in a garden at St. Anne's in Dublin, Ireland. A sport (mutation) of one of the most famous of all roses, Souvenir de la Malmaison. (There's a lot of roses with Souvenir in their names!)
I love to look at this rose. It has the most delicate coloring. Almost like fine bone china, with a touch of pink.
Tested for heat, drought, and pest tolerance, Souvenir de St. Anne is also designated as an Earthkind rose by the Texas AgriLife Extension Service. The Earthkind roses do well here. I've heard people in other areas of the country say they are not so impressed, but it's a great idea, and worth looking into if you have hot conditions and want to grow easy-care roses. I often mention Earthkind roses to people new to roses when they ask me for a general recommendation.
Souvenir de St. Anne is hardy in zones 5b to 10, resistant to blackspot, rust and mildew, and is fairly shade tolerant. Fragrant and beautiful. What more could you ask for?