HelpMeFind Roses, Clematis and Peonies
Roses, Clematis and Peonies
and everything gardening related.
Peter Miller
most recent 22 NOV 19 SHOW ALL
Initial post 9 JUL 07 by Peter Miller
Where is this rose? Does anybody have this in their garden?

Peter Miller
Reply #1 of 3 posted 26 JUL 18 by Jonathan Ellis
(11 years later than the question)

I don't know where it might be now, but my mother used to have it in our own garden - and made a point of how rare it was, being unable to find it anywhere commercially.

Sue Lee, to give her actual name, had basically educated herself into being an expert on roses. We had a Melanie Soupert in the garden of the house I was born in, in Chorleywood, Herts - along with many other roses (and other interesting things as well - a herb garden, several ponds and water features, a greenhouse for fruit, and so on. Never a dull moment.) And she knew of its rarity.

Later on, we moved to Wells, in Somerset. And Mum, being Mum, took cuttings of all the roses from our old home, and tried to grow them in the garden of our new home. Several of the ones which were supposed to be sturdier actually failed, but Melanie Soupert - surprisingly, perhaps, given that the yellow-blend type of roses of that era were notoriously fragile (a thing that Mum always used to blame on descent from the wild Rosa Foetida) - was one of the survivors.

Later on she planted over a thousand different roses, just one of each bush, in our garden which was between 1/3 and 1/2 an acre in size, and opened it to the public under the name of "The Time Trail of Roses". They were arranged in a time trail of date-order of the rose's breeding (if it was a man-made hybrid) or the date of its first importation to Britain (if it was a wild one from elsewhere in the world). We never really got a lot of visitors - our best days would have maybe a couple of dozen - but it became something of a tourist attraction for the connoisseur.

And as the visitors came around the garden, I would often be found, either helping at the gate, or doing my piano practice in an outbuilding that had started life as a garage and been converted to a studio-flatlet, in which I lived (while I still lived at home) or visited (when visiting after I moved away), with visitors often enjoying the music as much as the roses: I'm a professional musician myself, a pianist.

As for Melanie Soupert? Mum tried to interest some of the rose growers of the UK and even Ireland in trying to revive it, even going as far as arranging for some of them (I believe that Peter Beales was one) to take cuttings: but none of them survived, and our own Melanie continued to be the only one that we knew of.

Unfortunately the garden did not survive Mum's increasing ill health over years: and when she died in early 2013 - of long-standing complications from poorly controlled diabetes, complicated also by a couple of minor strokes and eventual kidney failure - the house had to be sold off, and the new owners appear to have just taken everything out and reverted the whole thing back to lawn and shrub.

Still, I'm glad to have since found out that another Melanie Soupert has made it back, even if it did come all the way from Japan...
Reply #2 of 3 posted 27 JUL 18 by Patricia Routley
I enjoyed reading that very much Jonathan. It is a great pity, but seems to be a fact, that gardens only last as long as their owners. Are there any photos of your mother's 'Mme. Melanie Soupert'? I have often wondered if an Australian foundling "Smart's Rose", syn "Bishop's Lodge Linton Gold" could possibly be 'Mme. Melanie Soupert'. I think the delicate colour in this foundling is the most beautiful of all my roses.
Reply #3 of 3 posted 22 NOV 19 by Patricia Routley
I have seen a private photograph of ‘Mme. Melanie Soupert’, provenance Trevor Griffiths in New Zealand. It looked similar to a ‘Souvenir de la Malmaison’ type of bloom. I suggested to the photographer that it may be ‘Clotilde Soupert’.

I have just added The 2006 reference from Trevor Griffiths 2006 book Memory of Old Roses and I am guessing that the budwood he received in the mail, may well have come from Sue Lee.

Does anybody ese have any photos of the rose grown in New Zealand as ‘Mme. Melanie Soupert‘.
most recent 10 APR 18 HIDE POSTS
Initial post 10 APR 18 by Peter Miller
My hands and wrists would argue about the "thornless or nearly thornless" aspect of this rose.
Reply #1 of 1 posted 10 APR 18 by Patricia Routley
I wouldn't argue with it. I have just had a look at my potted plant, and while it does have some thorns, I would agree with the description of "thornless or nearly thornless". Unfortunately HelpMeFind has a limited selection of just two selections: "armed with thorns" and "thornless or nearly thornless" (for which I am a little grateful for actually - imagine trying to choose an accurate description when even some plants can't make up their own mind.) Member Kona, 3 February 2012 also mentioned "very few thorns" in her comment. Well-fitting gardening gloves really do make any thorns on roses almost unnoticeable.

Just a thought - Peter, is your prickly plant your foundling from Corinth or Athens? - and are they the same?
most recent 3 JUL 11 SHOW ALL
Initial post 17 MAR 09 by Peter Miller
I found this rose in two different locations on my travels to fine old roses. One is not far from me on a big lax bush growing in front of an abandoned Victorian house in Corinth, GA a one stop sign town west of Newnan, GA.
The other one I found growing in the Oconee Hill Cemetery located in Athens, GA right next Samford stadium the home of the Georgia Bulldogs. That one is tall too and is next to a grave with the date 1904.
Took successful cuttings off both of them and have them growing in my yard with a plant from Vintage Gardens as well. It is a great rose for the South.
Reply #1 of 1 posted 3 JUL 11 by Margaret Furness
It has turned up in a couple of old gardens (zones 9 -10, dry summers) in Australia, too - a survivor rose, at least in hot areas.
most recent 6 MAR 11 HIDE POSTS
Initial post 6 MAR 11 by Peter Miller
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